PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (AP) — American Samoa is celebrating the 50th birthday of a tuna cannery that Gov. Lolo Matalasi Moliga says marked the U.S. territory's "shift to a modern economy."
Pittsburgh based StarKist Co. opened the cannery in 1963. At the time, most people in American Samoa lived off the land by fishing and farming.
Today, StarKist Samoa employs nearly half of the territory's private sector workforce.
The company exports 6,000 containers of cargo annually to the U.S. and 500 containers to Australia and Southeast Asia.
StarKist was bought by South Korea's Dongwon Industries in 2008.
Local government and traditional leaders plan to attend a ceremony for the anniversary on Saturday.
Top StarKist and Dongwon officials are traveling to the territory for the celebration.