Though I already owned grow out tanks and two earth ponds for raising tilapia, I saw a need to have a hatchery to provide fingerling to farmers for growing. With Western SARE grants, I built three tanks. In the middle tank, I installed the larval hatching nets. As the larval grew into fingerling size, I separated or removed them to the other two tanks. From there, I transferred them to grow in tanks, waiting for the market or to give away to the community. The outcome was good and the village people have adopted the idea and methods.
1. Transferring technology to make tilapia hatchery aquaculture environmentally sound.
2. Providing villagers with an alternative means of raising food for consumption or generating income.
3. Enhancing the potential for agriculture production in American Samoa.
The three tanks I built for the hatchery are fully operational, with water lines providing fresh water to each tank. I also installed air pumps with a pipe to each tank for aeration, providing oxygen for the fish.
Since my hatchery has been in operation, I believe it has fulfilled about 80% of its purpose. First, rearing and raising tilapia in tanks is currently transferring knowledge of environmentally sound technology. My village people who have come to visit and observe this kind of technology agree that raising tilapia in tanks is feasible and more environmentally safe than donning a pair of goggles and catching fish with a spear gun, simultaneously destroying the coral.
This method of raising fish has provided my village and my family with food. During our recent church meeting, as a high chief of the village and family, I provided 150 people with a tilapia dinner for free. The fish ranged in size from 1-2 pounds. I have provided fish to the community on other occasions as well, including Thanksgiving.
Most tilapia farmers in American Samoa have unmanaged farms that do not require hatchery assistance.
REACTIONS FORM PRODUCERS
I received favorable comments and support from the community.
This has been done through the Samoan Family Sun Fish Co-op meetings and visitation from schools and other groups off the island.