Besides the Old Flea Market is the traditional fish market. There is where you can get fresh fish from the sea that the fishermen catch every morning. I was able to get some great lobster pretty cheap there (but I realize I do not know how to cook lobster later).
These are most family operations. The husband goes out to sea in the morning to get the catch and the wife sits at the fish market to sell it while he sleeps. It gives them money to provide for the family and it is their livelihood.
Understanding how the fish market works
First thing you have to do is actually find the fish market. It can be a little hard to do. It is over in the corner of the parking lot in front of the Flea Market. If you don’t see it, ask around with the local Samoans. They will know where it is!
Once you find it, you just have to look for whatever you want, ask the price and make a deal. The prices can be a little loose but don’t try and low ball them too much. It is how they feed their families.
Once you reach a deal, they will pick it up from the table and normally wrap it up in newspaper for you.
After that, all you have to do is take it home (or your hostel) and prepare it. As I said, I tried making Lobster and completely destroyed it. Can we say failure?
The system at the fish market is pretty straight forward, all in all. I did not make trying it out even with my own shortcomings in the kitchen. It was a life lesson that I needed to learn. Oh, I still can’t make lobster right if you are wondering!
What are the prices like?
If I remember right (2013), the prices can be all over the charts. Literally.
Each vendor sits their own prices and you can talk to them about the pricing to a degree. I do not remember what I paid but I am going to guess it was about $15 USD for the seafood that day. It was not super expensive or I would not have taken it home.
As with any fish market in the world, it is best to get there early for the best selection and prices. Don’t wait for the leftovers.
When are they there?
Like everything in Samoa, Sundays is quite a dead day. No one moves. People go to church and they sleep. Most other days, there is the vendors in the market.
They show up about seven in the morning and about four or so they pack up and head home. Apia is a ghost town by five for the most part. No need to stay with few customers.
The most important thing is to make sure you get anything you will need Sunday on Saturday. If you don’t, you could really be going hungry. Learn from my experience.