Rapid growth for Samoa Trochus
Samoan Trochus fishery successfully introduced.
The Secretariat of the Pacific Community has declared Samoa's introduced Trochus fishery a huge success.
This comes after recent assessments on the reefs off Upolu island showed healthy shell populations.
SPC invertabrate scientist, Kalo Pakoa, has been working with Samoan fisheries on the project which began in the 1990s.
Kalo Pakoa told Koroi Hawkins despite initial losses the Trochus fishery in Samoa has grown faster than those of Cook Islands and French Polynesia.
KALO PAKOA: At the moment it is being harvested for its meat which is consumed mostly in a raw form. At the moment the shells are not being utilized but SPC is working with Samoa fisheries to try and promote the, the use of the shell so it is not wasted.
KOROI HAWKINS: How has the Samoa experience been different from other areas?
KP: The number of years for this species to recruit around the islands of Samoa is not as, not as long as say the islands of Cook Islands or French Polynesia where it takes 20 years before they start to consider commercial harvesting of the resource. But also the commercial fisheries is still at a small scale level. It is still yet to become an export fishery. So yes there has been some success but authorities in Samoa are trying to translocate to some other areas so that we are able to develop the resource and able to build up the stock to a level where exportable fishery can be considered for Samoa.
KH: I find it quite surprising that the shells aren't being used. If you go into the markets and the shops in Samoa there are a lot of artefacts and there is a lot of jewelry, beautiful jewelry that's being made by the locals. Why do you think the shells have not come into use yet and only the flesh is being used at the moment?
KP: I think the main reason is the lack of understanding of the value of the shell and that is because this is an introduced species, not native to Samoa and the people of Samoa still need to know how to value-add the shells and be able to sell it in their local markets. It is a very good candidate for the tourism sector, for the production of handicrafts and so forth. So that is one area where SPC and Samoa fisheries will be able to come up with some kind of training for local people to, to add value to the shell instead of putting it aside.
KH: And for other Small Island nations, is there anyone looking at Samoa's example?
KP: Yes, now that we have climate change issues coming up, translocation of wild stock of this species as well as some other large gastropods like Green Snail are becoming an important management option for island countries, where there are stocks around to be delivered to communities.
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