The Fisheries Division undertakes research, analysis, monitoring, and reporting to facilitate the development of fishery resources in Samoa and promotes the involvement of communities, fishers, private investors and relevant stakeholders in the adoption of sustainable fisheries practices and sustainable development and management of fisheries. The Fisheries Division consists of the following 6 Sections namely Advisory Services, Coastal Fisheries, Oceanic Fisheries, Aquaculture, Compliance, and Fish Market & Administration, which interrelate and collaborate to provide the services and technical support for its stakeholders and the general public. pppppp
1. Advisory Services
The Advisory Services Section is responsible for the Community-based Fisheries Management Program (CBFMP). The program was initiated in 1995 as the Fisheries Extension Program funded by the AusAid for five years. In 2001, the program was included in the Division’s Annual Plan of Activities, funded from the Ministry’s Budget. This program aims to replenish the depleted inshore fishery resources of Samoa and promotes community involvement and ownership of responsible fishery resource management. The involvement of communities in the sustainable management of fishery resources through the matai system is considered the most effective way develop and monitor Village Fisheries Management Plans which detail undertakings of villages and Fisheries Division where villages enforce bylaws and monitor fishery resources with the technical advice and support from the Fisheries Division.
2. Coastal Fisheries
The Inshore Section is responsible for the development and management of Samoa’s inshore marine resources. Activities carried include market surveys on inshore fisheries landing statistics, monitoring of fish reserves to maintain ecological processes and life support systems, preservation of species diversity, and promotion of the sustainable use of marine resources. The outcomes of these habitat and resource surveys facilitate the formulation of proper and effective measures for the sustainable and ecological management of Samoa’s fishery resources and habitats.
3. Oceanic Fisheries
The Offshore Fisheries Section is responsible for the development and management of Samoa’s offshore marine resources. Activities carried out include provision of infrastructure support for the fishing industry, conducting of research to assist the determination of key offshore fisheries resources status, and promotion of the involvement of stakeholders in the management of the commercial fisheries. The Commercial Fisheries Management Advisory Committee (CFMAC) plays an active role in addressing issues hindering development and sustainability of the fishing industry.
The Aquaculture Section is responsible for farming aquatic organisms (bivalves) in seawater (mariculture) and tilapia in freshwater to alleviate marine fishing pressure. In an effort to lessen fishing pressure on the over-exploited near-shore fishery resources, aquaculture projects such as stocking of natural lakes/ponds and lagoon areas are implemented. The stocking of tilapia in natural lakes/ponds created important fisheries resources in certain communities. The provision replenish depleted resources