Festival celebrates Guam's fishing tradition

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Photos courtesy of Guam Fishermen's Cooperative Association
Photos courtesy of Guam Fishermen's Cooperative Association

Festival celebrates Guam's fishing tradition

by: Takahiro Takiguchi | .
Stripes Guam | .
published: July 30, 2014

Since most of the fish consumed on Guam are imported, it’s not every day you get a chance to revel in a smorgasbord of local catches. That’s all the more reason not to miss the annual Fisherman’s Festival on Aug. 10. 

Guam Fishermen’s Cooperative Association, aka the Fishermen’s Co-op, hosts its annual Gupot Y Peskadot (Fisherman’s Festival) at the Greg Drive, Perez Marina in Hagatna, next to Chamorro Village every year.

The Fishermen’s Co-op invites everyone to the event, members, locals and tourists alike, to enjoy the fish along with Chamorro dance performances and various vendor booths with cultural crafts, fresh local vegetables and fruits and island delicacies on offer, according to the co-ops Michael Duenas.

Fish burgers, fish “poki,” and fish “keleguen” – all made from local fish – are just of few of the delicacies that will be available at the festival, he said. And the best part is they’ll be free of charge.

Several marine related informational booths will highlight Guam’s ocean and fishing cultures such as traditional Chamorro fishing methods, the marine environment of the Micronesia and the history of local fishing. In addition to with displays and brochures, co-op members will be on hand to answer questions.

According to Duenas, this festival was established in 2000 to promote the co-op’s conservation initiative, Reef to the Deep Blue Sea. The initiative aims to adapt customary reef fish uses to the more abundant open-sea species such as mahi-mahi and wahoo tuna and billfish.

“The purpose was to alleviate the impact on the reef fish population due to loss of habitat, shoreline development and poor water quality,” he said. “For example, the traditional fish used for fish keleguen is parrot fish, but through sampling and taste demos we have shown that marlin and other pelagic fishes are a perfect substitute.”

The festivals run from 10 a.m. till 4 p.m. For details, call 472-6323 or 472-2667.

takiguchi.takahiro@stripes.com

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