The Samoa Voyaging Socety (SVS) works to promote positive Samoan cultural values, respect for the ocean and nature, individual and social responsibility, discipline and integrity.
The SVS considers that the reintroduction of traditional sailing in Samoa will provide opportunities for youth development (sports, leadership), environmental awareness, cultural development and, potentially, tourism opportunities such as whale watching and adventure tours.
SVS is developing hands-on educational and training programmes in traditional sailing and navigation. The programmes will target young Samoan youth including school children, school leavers and other interested groups. The task of learning traditional sailing and navigation skills also develops leadership and discipline among the youth, leading to well-rounded young people capable of contributing positively to the growth of this nation.
Sunday, March 14, 2010
Vaa Gaualofa has helped ensure smooth sailing of the coral survey undertaken in Fagaloa Bay, Samoa.
Since May last year, the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) has worked with the Ministry of Fisheries of the Government of Samoa to carry out a year long coral reef monitoring project at Fagaloa Bay.
The project is to assess the impact of the fresh water discharge into the Bay and is funded by the Asian Development Bank in response to complaints from residents in the area who allege that coral health and marine resources have been declining due to a power plant in the area.
“We did an extensive survey to assess the live coral cover and the fish population in Fagaloa Bay in July 2009 and since then, we have been doing more targeted surveys every 3 months to count the baby corals,“ said Caroline Vieux, SPREP’s Coral Reef Management Officer.
“There’s clearly a problem of coral dying in Fagaloa Bay due to sedimentation in which we experience when we carry out the monitoring but the exact causes for it are still under examination as both natural factors such as cyclones and high water temperature as well as the human factors such as the freshwater discharge from the power plant have to be considered”.
The most recent surveying carried out in March worked in partnership with the Samoa Voyaging Society and Vaa Gaualofa.
Past surveys have included a car towing a dinghy, due to the geographical situation of Fagaloa Bay; this would normally take two full days of work. Vaka Gaualofa has helped the survey team overcome complicated logistics enabling the survey to take place over a period of one day
“The logistics of reaching Fagaloa Bay to carry out the survey are quite difficult, however with Vaka Gaualofa we have been able to work much more effectively and in a more eco-friendly way as we sailed to Fagaloa,” said Vieux.
“This has also been a positive way to support the Samoa Voyaging Society and an opportunity for the residents of the Fagaloa Bay area to see Vaka Gaualofa.”
A crew of seven helped sail the team to the survey area for which three SPREP staff carried out the coral reef monitoring.
Recommendations are currently being prepared in a report based upon the findings of the different surveys which began in May last year.