Pêche, Aquaculture et Ecosystèmes Marins



Samoa’s Fisheries Department started investigating these fish spawning aggregations in 2004, initially by collecting information based on traditional knowledge. In Puapua, 12 Puapua men and women, most of them fishers, were interviewed by officers from the Samoa Fisheries Department. The interviews were conducted in Samoan to make it easier for the villagers to share their experiences.


‘The blue spot mullet — locally referred to as the red-lip mullet by the Puapua community — are regarded as the Puapua community’s own mullet; they seem to have won an important place for themselves in the traditions and culture of this community,’ says Maria Sapatu, Fisheries Officer.


Now, the Fisheries Department will be verifying the information obtained from traditional knowledge with scientific surveys and field monitoring programmes.


Understanding fish reproduction so they do not disappear

 In Samoa, as in many places in the Pacific, marine resources are showing signs of overfishing. Puapua fishermen say, ‘There is less fish and it’s harder to catch. In the past, families used to get two bags of fish but now a family may get only ten or twenty fish.’


The objective of the investigation at the national level is to fully understand the behaviour of various fish species — the status, the migration movements, and the spawning period and place — as it is an important food resource for Samoans.


Being Yeeting, SPC Fisheries Scientist, was able to join the Fisheries Department team in Savaii in December 2011 to provide technical assistance and train the local fisheries officers on how to investigate and study fish spawning aggregations. This was funded by the SciCOFish project.


In addition to interviews, training and work on the mapping of reef areas where the spawning aggregation takes place and the collection of biological data have been conducted. The training sessions included lectures on biological concepts of spawning aggregation and in-water exercises for UVC (underwater visual census) methods for underwater surveys.


The data and information collected in this ongoing investigation and at the national scale will be used to set up effective management measures for reef fish spawning aggregations, including Puapua’s much-loved mullets. This will ensure their long-term protection, successful reproduction and continuous restocking.


For more information, please contact Being Yeeting, SPC Fisheries Scientist (Finfish).

Mise à jour le Jeudi, 23 Janvier 2014 08:39