Fishing business thrives during Lenten season

By Vaelei Von Dincklage 03 March 2020, 9:00PM

A family from Siumu is cashing in on the Catholic Church’s Lenten season as devout churchgoers opt for fish over meat as part of their fasting on Fridays.

AJ Fata, whose mother Eseta Reupena Faailo runs a fishing business, said their sales increase at this time of the year when the Catholic faithful choose alternative protein such as fish.

"The sales we get today is thrice the amount we get on Fridays, for days like today we earn $300 tala but for Fridays our sales usually reaches $900 tala, so right now our sales are slow," he said. "Every time the Catholics have their fasting on Fridays, we know that this is the time where fish is much needed because it's the only thing the Catholics will look for.

Mr Fata sells fish at the fish market and was there with three eskies when the Samoa Observer interviewed him.

An employee of the family’s fishing business, Ata Junior, said competition in the fish market is high as everyone knew there was an increasing demand for fish. 

"The highest price for the asiasi (type of fish) is $200 tala, however, the price may vary due to the size of the fish. But today we brought three coolers and these are the only fish left on our counter," he added.

Sellers at the fish market can make $500 tala in sales per day if there is high demand with Mr Junior revealing that they can earn more than the average weekly salary of a Government or private sector employee. 

"People look down at us sellers here at the fish market but I must say we earn $900 tala a week while they earn probably $250 a week or so," he said.

On days when there is less demand for their product, the fish are taken home to make fish and chips, according to Mr Fata. 

"Our family has a boat and we also have fishermen working for us, so they are the ones fishing and I'm the one selling. However, if there are unsold fish then we will bring it back home and use it to make our fish and chips," he said. 

By Vaelei Von Dincklage 03 March 2020, 9:00PM

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