Environmental protection sees bumper palolo harvest at Return to Paradise

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PALOLO TIME: Local villagers display their bumper harvest of palolo caught right in front of Return to Paradise Resort

PALOLO TIME: Local villagers display their bumper harvest of palolo caught right in front of Return to Paradise Resort

If you woke up in the early morning at Return to Paradise Resort on Sunday, you would have seen hundreds of villagers in the water in front of the Resort. 

They were gathering Palolo - a delicious seafood delicacy that is Samoa’s answer to caviar. (Not that we are biased, but Palolo is far superior to caviar, in fact it makes caviar taste like porridge.

If I was a sturgeon, I’d be really embarrassed). 

The palolo worms rise from the coral only two nights every year just on selected coral reefs including the reef right in front of our resort. 

They mate in the early hours of the morning, and then die and dissolve in the sea water when the sun appears only to have the whole cycle repeated by their children next year. 

By studying the signs, the local chiefs can predict exactly which two nights these will be -once in October and once in November.

When Mother Nature was handing out her gifts, when it came to Return to Paradise, she was overly generous.

A dazzlingly beautiful golden sand beach, cold mineral springs, lush jungle and one of the richest coral gardens in front directly in front of any resort in the Pacific.

One of the treasures of this reef is Palolo. 

One of the few beaches the Palolo rising happens is right in front of Return to Paradise Resort.

Last Sunday was the second palolo rising for 2017. The villagers harvest the palolo and harvest them according to traditional methods that help conserve the palolo for next year

The Resort works hard to protect the stunning coral garden and this protection has been rewarded. 2017 has seen a bumper harvest of palolo at Return to Paradise Beach – the best in many years. Palolo has a delicate flavour – like a cross between paua (abalone) and oyster.

The Resort has been privileged to buy a good supply of palolo from the villagers ensuring this delicacy will be on our menu for some time.

© Samoa Observer 2016

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