Fish in the forest at Manunu
A Peace Corps volunteer is helping the village of Manunu on the east coast of Upolu through a very unique project.
Joshua Tarbox, from the United States of America is working with the Ministry of Fisheries to develop the “Vailepa o Manunu” Community Development Fish Pond Project. The project will enable families to harvest locally grown fish, which will significantly boost the village nutrition.
“Unlike many villages in Samoa, Manunu is far into the mountains and has no access to the sea,” Mr. Tarbox told the Samoa Observer.
“We have partnered with the Ministry of Fisheries in Samoa and they have provided us with a sustainable freshwater fish, Tilapia, to jump start our fish hatchery.”
At the beginning of the week, the Ministry delivered 450 fish.
The project will help the diet of some 300 people in Manunu whose main food source comes from their family owned plantation in the surrounding mountains.
“There is no readily available fresh fish since Manunu is far in the Mountain and the river nearby does not contain fish big enough to consume.
“In building this permanent fishpond we are providing a space for fish to thrive and the village people to later have these fish available for consumption and ultimately sale.
“The nutritional value which comes from having a fish pond ecosystem will be the first in history for the village of Manunu and the amount of employment later gained from selling fish from future family built ponds will boost the village economics greatly.”
Mr. Tarbox said one of the greatest parts of the project is that the hatchery is a pilot pond, and the community leaders are learning the ins and outs of constructing a sustainable fishpond.
“The village leaders want to implement more of these ponds at their own houses! Eventually, the Village Committee plans to use this pond as an income generator and sell these fish.”