Local consulting company outlines economic impacts of proposed PRI expansion
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A local consulting company that counts the American Samoa Government and the Department of Commerce among its clients has created an “infographic” that they say “sheds light on the estimated economic impacts of the proposed expansion of the Pacific Remote Island Marine National Monument (PRIMNM) to the territory of American Samoa.”
In a press release, South Pacific Consulting — headed by Nate Clayville, says the infographic represents a valuable resource for policymakers, stakeholders, and communities interested in understanding the potential consequences of the proposed expansion.
Key findings from the infographic include:
Job Losses: The expansion of the PRIMNM is projected to further reduce the U.S. flagged purse seiner fleet, which will increase unemployment as more than 300 workers are displaced in American Samoa. Most of the job losses will affect cannery workers and those employed in industries that directly support cannery and fishing fleet operations.
Tuna Prices: The reduction in fishing grounds accessible to the U.S. flagged purse seiners, along with the reduction in the fleet, is anticipated to raise the local spot price of fresh Skipjack and Albacore higher by roughly 30%, providing further incentive for the remaining cannery to consider an exodus from the shores of American Samoa.
Population: American Samoa’s population has been in decline for more than a decade. With higher unemployment and fewer jobs, the territory’s population is expected to fall 55% faster through 2030 resulting from the expansion of the monument, driving more than 1,200 additional residents to seek better economic conditions elsewhere.
Real Gross Domestic Product: Ultimately, American Samoa’s economy is forecast to lose approximately $84 million each year as a result of the proposed PRIMNM expansion, resulting in nearly $600 million in lost economic activity through 2030.
"We are proud to release this infographic, free to the public, which is the culmination of extensive research and data analysis, drawing upon expertise from various stakeholders," said Clayville.
“The goal is that this information will help foster informed dialogue surrounding the proposed expansion of the PRIMNM and enable evidence-based decision-making. We believe that by providing this analysis, we are equipping policymakers and stakeholders with the information they need to make informed decisions about the future of this remarkable region.”
The infographic can be accessed on South Pacific Consulting's website at sopacconsulting.com.