Find Fisheries expertise in Samoa
- Overview of the industry
- Fishery bodies
Despite Samoa having a fairly small Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of 129,000 km2, it has not stopped its fishing industry from developing into an important foreign exchange earner with the industry contributing around 40% of non-tourism export earnings to the local economy (2010) – highlighting its importance to the economy. Indeed, fisheries, along with forestry and agriculture, contribute 12% to total national GDP (2008) or about $28.5 million in 2007. Fisheries employ about 11,700 people in the primary sector, and while the number in the secondary sector is not known, it is estimated that about a quarter of all households receive some income from fishing.
The marine sub-sector is composed of offshore fisheries composed largely of tuna long lining, and coastal fishing mainly on the reef and inside lagoons which is largely for subsistence purposes and sale on the local market. The catch profile for the offshore fishery includes albacore (about 80% of catch), yellowfin (8%), and bigeye (3%). Other species include wahoo, dolphinfish, skipjack, striped marlin and blue marlin.
For the coastal fisheries, the catch profile includes over 500 species, the most important being finfish, octopus, giant clams, bêche de mer (sea cucumbers), and crab. Aquaculture remains a marginal sub-sector in Samoa, contributing about a tenth of total production. Most production is tilapia, while some traditional giant clam ranching does occur on village reefs or in lagoons.
The inland subsector is also quite small, as, while the total annual inland harvest is unknown, it is estimated to be about ten million tons per year. The catch profile is largely tilapia, eels and freshwater shrimp.
The Fisheries Division’s approach to sustainability is to ‘promote the optimum and ecologically sustainable use of the country’s fishery resources and the development of suitable alternatives to harvesting depleted resources in order to maximize benefits to Samoa.’
The Fisheries Division of the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries is responsible for fisheries and marine resource matters. Fisheries management in Samoa appear in the legislation though in broad terms, with the Fisheries Act stating that the Director of the Department of Agriculture, Forests and Fisheries may ‘propose management and development measures designed to obtain the maximum benefits from the fishery resources for the people of Samoa, both present and future’. One company, Apia Export Fish Packers handles 80% of Samoa’s fish exports, consisting mainly of frozen albacore tuna.
|Fisheries organisations in Samoa|
|Ministry of Agriculture, Forests, Fisheries and Meteorology||