Fishing for survival

Give someone a fish and you’ll feed him for a day. Teach them how to fish and you’ll feed them for a lifetime.

For many men, there is no better way to pass the time than to relax out at sea with a fishing rod in hand and catch some large fish worth boasting about at the bar.

But for Naea Uloula, from the village of Fagali’i, that is his everyday life. The only difference being, it’s his family’s livelihood and not.

Being the breadwinner of his family, Naea says that fishing is the best way to make money for village people in Samoa.

Aged 42, the fisherman would go out about three times every day to make a living and to put his two children through school.

“As you can see this is the work we do daily to take care of our families,” he told the Village Voice.

“We prepare the net and the boat, and then we make our way out to sea. This is the only way we can go and look for some money as well as catch some food for our family’s meals.

“If the catches are good then we get some money to cover some basic needs for the day.”

The daily trip out to sea is worth it according to Naea who manages to make quite a bit from fish sales.

“Some days we would go out to sea three times to catch some fish,” he said.

“Other days we would be a bit tired so we limit our fishing trips to just once. When the tides are good then we try and make the most of it.”

“To be honest there is nothing hard about this. All I know is that this is fast money for the families here in the villages.”

“We would catch fish every time we go out and they are easy to sell which is why I say its fast money. On good days we would make over $500 that day.”

“Everything depends on the size, type and how many fish we catch. We would make up to $4,000 a week when we are lucky and we work hard.”

Naea also mentioned that fishing is better than working for minimum wage.

“The fish we catch isn’t only sold; we also keep some for the family to eat,” he said.

“Only one member of the family is currently employed but this is the main source of income for us. Fishing is better than the minimum pay people are getting right now.”

“That’s why we are trying very hard to keep this going because we earn a lot of money from it. Good jobs will get you $100 a day but this will get us more and we get the money right away.”

With Naea’s only problem being the damage to his fishing net which is fixable, he says life is great out in the village.

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