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Conservation benefit: Establishment of a 1,600-acre marine conservation area (240 acres no-take) for 15 years

Community benefit: Community hall and upgrade of the village water supply

Date Approved: 05.2009


This project protects ocean ecosystems, making coastal communities more economically and physically secure in the face of climate change.

Satapuala is a coastal village on the northwestern side of Upolu Island in Samoa. The village, which is controlled by a traditional council of chiefs, was relocated in 1942 to make room for an airport. It has more than 2,000 residents, and the growing population has taken a toll on the marine resources. A conservation program will establish rotating no-take zones within the village’s marine area. This is expected to help marine resources recover, making subsistence fishing and regulated commercial use sustainable.

Seacology will fund construction of a new community hall and an upgrade of  the village water supply system. In return, the community will establish a 1,600-acre marine conservation area, 15 percent of which (240 acres) will be no-take. They will also protect approximately one acre of Rhizophora mangle mangrove forest. The goal is to extend the no-take section of the marine reserve to 25 percent within 15 years. The rest of the area will be managed in a sustainable manner, with regulations dictating the size of catches and a ban on the use of illegal substances such as dynamite and cyanide.

Project Updates

January 2011

Construction of the community hall was completed in October 2009. In a final report submitted in December 2010, Seacology Field Representative Cedric Schuster reports that all villagers were asked to help in the monitoring of the marine reserve. The village council received assistance from the Division of Fisheries in finalizing a management plan for the reserve, as well as bylaws to legalize the no-take zone and provide training of villagers to monitor the area. The Management Plan for the protected area was developed and agreed-upon by the village council and the Fisheries Division. The final copy of the Management Plan and bylaws are now being finalized and incorporated into law by the Fisheries Division.

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May 2010

Field representative Cedric Schuster reports that the village has set out the no-take zone and has updated the management plan for the marine reserve as well as submitted to the Division of Fisheries the Fisheries By-Laws for enactment.

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October 2009

Construction of the community hall began at the end of September and was completed on October 9, 2009. The village held an official opening for the hall on October 16. Satapuala, at its August 2009 village council meeting, declared their marine area as a marine reserve and all villagers were asked to help monitor the new reserve. At this meeting the council also sought help from the Division of Fisheries to assist in finalizing a management plan for the reserve. This plan is expected to be completed by the end of 2009.

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