Ball rolling on alia fishery
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — The island-village of Aunu’u is getting help from the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council to develop its 'alia fishery.
Among the issues raised during a presentation on American Samoa, at last week’s Council meeting in Honolulu, was an update on Aunu’u’s flake ice machine, which Council staff member, Nate Ilaoa said is a fishery development project the Council is working on, to provide an ice machine and ice storage bin there.
Ilaoa said this was a request from the village, in order to “help develop its 'alia fishery.”
“Currently we are looking into solar panel and inverter to exchange for the cost of water with the Department of Public Works (DPW), who will be housing the ice machine in their building that is adjacent to the boat ramp,” said Ilaoa, who’s hoping the project is completed when the next Council meeting is held in June on Maui island, Hawai’i.
The American Samoa Community Activities and Issues Report, which was submitted ahead of the Council meeting, shows that the ice machine will have a capacity of 930 lbs/24 hours production; while the storage bin will have a capacity of 300 pounds.
The report also states that the DPW site was selected through consultation with both the chiefs of Aunu’u village and DPW, which “has been extremely helpful in the efforts to complete this project.”
According to the report, the Council has obtained cost information on an ice machine, a storage bin, and the associated parts and warranty. Additionally, the Council is investigating costs associated with the installation of a solar power system that would offset any costs incurred by ASG for utilities for the building, while adding additional power savings to the entire facility’s operations.
“The people of Aunu’u are very interested in further developing their 'alia fishery. Being isolated from Tutuila, the residents are very dependent on fish caught by village 'alia owners,” the report points out. “The catch is both sold to sustain their fishing boats, given to feed family members, and contribute to community fa’alavelave obligations.”
The report notes that the village asked the Council for assistance in developing infrastructure for their small 'alia fishery.
This partnership between the Council, the village of Aunu’u, and ASG will assist in the development of the 'alia small vessel fishery on Aunu’u, according to the report; and availability of the ice machine for use by Aunu’u 'alia fishermen will increase their ability to provide higher quality fresh fish for commercial and subsistence purposes.
One of the main products from Aunu’u that satisfies the taste buds of many on Tutuila is their taro and there is hope on Tutuila of more taro from there.
Last week Friday, a Samoa News reporter visited Aunu’u and on the boat ride between Auasi on Tutuila and Aunu’u island was an individual who is connected with local businesses.
Samoa News was told by the individual that he wasn't only going to Aunu’u to visit, he was looking at the possibility of setting up a business on the island-village. No further details were disclosed.