Palolo hunt in Savai'i underway

Heavy downpour in the early hours of Friday morning did not dampen the hopes of the people of Savai'i heading out to fish for palolo.

Some woke as early as 3am to pack their homemade mosquito netting or cheesecloths and wade into the sea in the hopes palolo had risen to the surface.

Some even launched boats to scoop up the sea worms in deeper water. 

The palolo rising was said to be moderate in most villages, where the delicacy is collected twice a year.

The first attempts to capture palolo on Thursday morning were unsuccessful with most people returning to shore empty-handed. But that didn’t leave people discouraged. 

But Nuutololā Felise, a fisherman from the village of Faletagaloa, noted that competition for scooping up the delicacy had lessened. 

"We were able to catch some palolo this morning," he told the Samoa Observer.

"A lot of people were out at sea compared to last year; [I was] expecting it would be as strong it was in 2019.

"Some people travelled from Apia and some other villages in Savai'i hoping to catch some palolo."

However, Nu'utololā was still grateful for his haul despite it not meeting his initial expectations. 

"I am still happy that we got some,” he said.  

"It's not everyday we get palolo. So this is going to be the main dish for our Sunday toona'i (lunch). 

"This is more than enough for our family. 

"Last year, we were able to sell some buckets of palolo and the money we got from it went straight for our taulaga (church offerings)."

Another fisherman, Moe Tautali, was also able to catch some and will be selling the fruits of his fishing. 

"I plan on selling some to get some money for White Sunday,” he said. 

"There were so many of us, from my family who went out to catch palolo, so we have some for our toona'i, but I will sell my lot."

Locals reported that Safotu was one of the areas where the rising of the sea worm was reportedly at its heaviest. 

Some were optimistic that palolo will rise again on Saturday morning and had already made plans to head out to sea in the hope of catching more. 

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