Give someone a fish and you’ll feed him for a day.
Teach a man to fish and he will feed himself and his family for a lifetime.
That’s precisely the life of Paul Asau from Faleula and Faleasi’u.
The 51-year-old has been fishing all his life to raise his family. It’s a skill he was taught by his father and it is something he is keen to pass on.
But he admits that times have changed. He said fish stocks are plummeting and it’s getting harder and harder to get good catches.
“I have been a fisherman since I was 18 years old,” he said.
“It’s the only way to help my family out. Unfortunately not everything in our family is covered by the money we earn each day.”
“Things are just too expensive and we can’t afford to buy a lot of the things we need because we struggle to make money.”
Fishing is good until the weather turns, he said.
“You can’t fish everyday,” he said. “So I have a plantation to go to when the weather is bad.”
Paul said a typical day starts before dawn and sometimes he is not home at night as that is when he is in the water.
“It’s a hard life but what can you do?”
Paul said some of his children have moved out to develop their own families and it makes things harder for him.
“You see, I just got back from fishing last night and now I have to go to the plantation to fetch taro for Sunday,” he said.
“I do it alone because it’s just me, my wife and my two younger children. I can’t bother my older children anymore because they have their own families to develop.”
As for the hardships of life, Paul said people should not give up.
“There are a lot of struggling families in Samoa,” he said.
“What we need the most right now is money to help develop our family. You can always find ways to make money and when all else fails, and then at least ask for help.”
Paul can be contacted on 7269239 if you want to help him.