Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Balolo - Fiji's favourite Sea worms

It's back, delicacy rises from the deep - Thursday, November 12, 2009

VILLAGERS along the coastal area of Cakaudrove witnessed the rising of the seasonal deep sea marine delicacy, Balolo, yesterday.

Villagers of Naidi, Vivili, Waivunia, Nacekoro and other villagers rushed to sea to celebrate the special and rare occasion.

The balolo rises twice a year, in August and November.

Savusavu district qoliqoli (fishing ground) head Sairusi Rakokoti said they had waited in anticipation for balolo, writhing sea-worms that rise to the surface to spawn.

"We expected it sometime this month and in the beginning of the month so we waited for the balolo.

"The villagers rushed to net their balolo when they surfaced on our shores. This is delicious food only seen twice a year," Mr Rakokoti said.

He said even residents in town were always on the lookout for the balolo, which warned them it was a period of poisonous fish.

The ogo and damu, both deep sea fish, were usually poisonous after the rise of the balolo.

"These two types of fish eat the balolo and get poisonous," Mr Rakokoti said.

"It's also a sign for some people, especially fishermen, that after the rise of the balolo, it is the period of fish poisoning."

Villagers keep their catch of balolo out of the sun because the fish melts in its heat.

They use cold water to preserve their balolo if they plan to send it to relatives in Viti Levu.

The balolo is blue, brown and green in colour. "When we boil it, the soup is light blue and very tasty. Villagers are crazy about it," Mr Rakokoti said.

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