The largest employer in 2002 was fish processing with the industry employing 5,538 workers and paying $49.4 million in labor income (wage and salary disbursements, proprietors, income, and other labor income). The canneries accounted for nearly one-third of the employment in the economy but only about one-sixth of the labor income. Canned tuna is American Samoa’s primary export, worth $320,790,000 in 2007. Fish are caught for processing and canning in American-owned factories.


The economic contributions of this local industry will be highly dependent on the future of our islands. Starkist and Samoa Packing plants are the principal commercial operations on the north side of Pago Pago Harbor. Both plants have expanded over the years and currently have maximized their existing buildable areas. As the canneries have grown, land area has been dedicated primarily to expansion of fish processing and canning operations.