Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed Rep. Grace F. Napolitano's amendment by a vote of 364 to 37 to allow U.S. fishing fleets to use Guam as a port of call, which means tuna companies with facilities in the U.S. will no longer have to spend millions of dollars and thousands of man-hours moving boats to American Samoa for annual inspections. The tuna caught by these fleets support thousands of jobs in U.S. canneries, including roughly 300 local jobs at the Bumblebee Tuna processing facility in Santa Fe Springs.
"A steady supply of tuna is critical for U.S. canneries like the one we have in Santa Fe Springs," Napolitano said. "This common-sense amendment will save time and money for tuna fishermen and help keep our canneries competitive and our jobs secure."
Tuna fishing fleets operating in the remote Pacific currently must make an annual port of call to American Samoa as a condition of sailing under the U.S. flag. For roughly 60% of the fleet, that means a 2,500 mile, 7 day, $500,000 journey for each boat. Napolitano's amendment will give tuna fishers the option to travel instead to nearby Guam, saving millions of dollars and thousands of gallons in wasted fuel for U.S. fishers operating in the Pacific.
The amendment passed as part of H.R. 2838 Coast Guard Reauthorization bill.