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By Staff

APIA, Samoa (November 8, 2001 - Samoa News)--Palolo is now one of the most expensive delicacies of the Samoan islands, going for SA$ 30-50 (or US$ 10-16) a bundle.

[Palolo worm: A large marine annelid worm, Eunice viridis, of the South Pacific. Palolo worms hunt for small prey among coral reefs and their reproduction is synchronized by the phases of the moon. The rear portion of the worm, containing eggs or sperm, separates and swims to the surface, discharging its gametes in the sea. Swarming worms are a local delicacy. Class: Polychaeta. The Macmillan Encyclopedia 2001, © Market House Books Ltd 2000]

The palolo rising was scheduled for Wednesday night and tonight and coral reefs around Upolu are expected to yield good harvests.

According to, palolo usually spawn in three phases. In the first phase, called salefu, drifting patches of foam are seen on the ocean surface.

In the second phase, motusaga, the palolo is in a very liquidy form.

The third phase is the tatelega, during which the palolo swarm.

In the last few years, there has been a marked decrease in the areas where the palolo rises. The shortage of palolo and rising popularity of the delicacy has led to sharp rises in its price.

Palolo also rises in other parts of the Pacific, such as Fiji and Kiribati. It has also been reported to have risen around the coral reefs of the Philippines, according to

Items from the SAMOA NEWS, American Samoa's daily newspaper, may not be republished without permission. To contact the publisher, send e-mail to

For additional reports from the Samoa News, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Newspapers/Samoa News.

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