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San Diego tuna company selling more than half its boats

SAN DIEGO — San Diego-based South Pacific Tuna Corp. is selling eight of its 14 fishing boats to foreign companies, eliminating more than 200 jobs.

The San Diego Union-Tribune reports Wednesday the company says U.S. regulations make it difficult to earn a profit.

The newspaper says South Pacific Tuna contributes approximately 20 percent of the canned tuna sold in the United States.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says in a statement that it supports the industry and has tried to reduce regulatory barriers for American boats, but has a responsibility to patrol fishing operations.

Experts say U.S. boats face other pressures including the cost of fuel, falling tuna prices and foreign fishing fees.

The tuna business was the third-largest industry in San Diego 50 years ago but has been in a decline.

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Information from: The San Diego Union-Tribune, http://www.utsandiego.com

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