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Rising of the Balolo

A great occasion to wake up in the middle of the night and catch a marine delicacy

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One unusual thing for us but not for Fijians is the harvest of the reef, more precisely catching the balolo worm. Balolo is a local delicacy which deserves to be called the caviar of the Pacific. With joy and excitement, locals "hunt" for edible sea worms which rise in millions to the surface in October or November, on the eighth day after the full moon, for the purpose of reproducing. These worms can be hunted in several locations in Vanua Levu, Yasawas, Mamanucas, Vatulele, Kadavu, Lomaiviti, Taveuni, and more.

Due to its nature, this kind of edible worm spends most of its time in deep holes of coral reefs. The balolo consists of a mass of green threads. At dawn, they rise to the surface covering it with a dense wriggling mass. After that, the Fijians paddle around in their canoes and scoop them up into baskets. The balolo worm is a true delicacy in Fiji. Locals cook it in different ways: in leaves in the native oven, by boiling or by making it into soup, and even eat it raw. They are so fond of these sea worms that they have even named one Fijian month after it.

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