Biologist Bill Puleloa receives first ever Malama Kuleana Honua Award.
This year’s annual Molokai Earth Day celebration, hosted by The Nature Conservancy (TNC) marked the beginning of a new tradition –the “Malama Kuleana Honua” (Caring Responsibly for Earth) Honorary award. William “Bill” Puleloa, a recently retired aquatic biologist for the state’s Department of Land and Resources, was its first recipient. He was commended at Earth Day for his work with monitoring the conditions of Molokai streams, collaborating with local fishermen and researching the native honu, or green sea turtles.
“Bill has always been a resource and supporter to conserving our resources,” said Ed Misaki, TNC’s Program Director.…
Kaunakakai Elementary sixth graders learn about ocean pollution.
What fish is 4 feet long, has a rectangular body, can travel on land, and has helped bring awareness to ocean pollution across the nation? Answer: the Rakefish.
The Rakefish is not a real fish but a large fish-shaped sculpture with a broken rake as a fin. The “fish” has journeyed from A.W. Cox Elementary School in Guildford, Connecticut to teach Kimberly Ka`ai’s sixth grade class at Kaunakakai Elementary school about ocean pollution. Kaunakakai Elementary will be the sculpture’s only stop in Hawaii before continuing to its next destination in Washington, D.C.
Molokai parent Suzette Onofrio, whose niece attends the elementary in Connecticut, acted as a liaison in the process of bringing the Rakefish Project to Hawaii.…
DNLR News Release
Department of Land and Natural Resources is holding a community meeting regarding the security perimeter at the Kauanakakai Wharf to accommodate American Safari Cruises visits to Molokai. The meeting is on Monday, Jan. 30 at Mitchell Pauole Center at 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. We will address the experience last weekend and respond to the community. Reduced security to accommodate fishermen and canoe paddlers and lessen the inconvenience to the community will be discussed. All are invited.
Four Hawaiian monk seals have been found dead in the state since mid-November – and three of those have been on Molokai.Three of the four deaths have been deemed of suspicious causes by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) officials after completing necropsies, or animal autopsies. The first death occurred on Molokai in mid-November, when an adult male seal’s body was discovered on the southwest shore.The second, a young female, was also found dead on the island’s southwest shore, late last month. Human interaction is suspected in both cases, according to NOAA Hawaiian monk seal recovery coordinator Jeff Walters. He said further details are being withheld during the ongoing investigations.
Opinion by Clare Mawae
Recently, I watched those that I love, respect and care about protest the yacht Safari Explorer come to our shores. As a business owner and a resident of Molokai, I consistently seek the balance with how I conduct business. Change is always scary and the fear of the future is no different but as I reflect on the past decade, it is hard to dismiss the economic hardships, which continue to burn a huge scar into the hearts of people worldwide.
The popular “Roi Round-up” Spearfishing Tournament, which first took off on Maui in 2008, is taking place this year in Lahaina on Sunday, Nov. 6. The purpose of the event is to remove invasive fish from the Valley Isle’s reefs, including roi or peacock grouper, to`au or blacktail snapper, and ta`ape or blue-line snapper. All three species were introduced to Hawaiian waters in the 1950s. Approximately 60-80 divers will be competing for top honors in several categories, including Most Fish, Largest Roi and Smallest Roi.
Founders and organizers of the Roi Round-up include Brian Yoshikawa of Maui Sporting Goods, Maui fisherman Darrell Tanaka and his wife Jackie, Stuart Funke-d’Egnuff of Tri-Isle RC&D, and Kuhea Paracuelles, a local conservation professional.
Molokai residents brought a bag full of suggestions and concerns to a visit from the head of one of the largest branches of the state government – the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR). From discussions about protecting subsistence lifestyles to management of wind, water and other resources, DLNR Chairperson William “Bill” Aila interacted with residents for nearly two hours during his first visit to Molokai.
Aila, who was appointed DLNR chairperson by Gov. Abercrombie in November 2010, talked story with local residents as part of a statewide series. The meeting was unusual because Aila’s visit was not to address a particular project or issue, but instead simply to listen. The gesture was appreciated by Molokai residents, who repeatedly thanked him for his effort and openness.
a lot more significant” than on other islands, Aila said after the meeting.
Other issues included allowing residents to restore exposed graves in Mana`e, which Aila said he would directly address with the Burial Council during a return visit he’s planning in November; fixing the water supply so that new water meters may be allowed in East Molokai; supporting the Molokai Invasive Species Committee and Plant Extinction Prevention Program; removing asbestos from the old Coast Guard stations at Ilio Point; and formalizing DLNR outreach with `Aha Ki`ole.
Community Contributed by Walter Ritte
For the past 15 years Molokai has been seriously trying to stop the decline of it’s near shore fisheries. In 1994 Governor John Waihe’e created the Governors Molokai Subsistence Task Force, which officially recognized the importance of the subsistence economy on Molokai. The task force found that up to 38 percent of our food consumption on Molokai came from gathering in the ocean and on the land. The task force identified three major problems, 1) Off-island people who take to much, 2) Taking of undersized juveniles and 3) Lack of access.
The Molokai Aha Kiole has been working for months with WESPAC (Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council), an arm of NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) in a state wide effort to bring management over our resources down to the local level.
Through state wide meetings, each island has been charged to present their three top issues. The Molokai Aha Kiole presented their top two issues on Friday Sept. 23 to WESPAC. First, the need to lift the federal ban on the Hawaiian Green Turtle to allow for traditional subsistence use, and second, the need to stop the practice of off island escort boats raiding our shorelines during canoe races and other Molokai to Oahu and Maui to Molokai races.
Five years of talks with the Canoe Racing Associations have proven no meaningful results. The issue is alarmingly headed to confrontational solutions.
Molokai residence have taken it upon themselves to monitor and patrol the coast line to “educate” the escort boats and letters have been sent out to explain “nicely” the concerns of the subsistence users of our coastal fisheries. We hope the State and Federal Governments will help resolve this issue since the organizers of these races do not want to recognize their “Kuleana” when they come to Molokai to race.
Subsistence use of our near shore fisheries is not a matter of recreational use, it is a matter of survival.
Community contributed by ‘Aha Ki’ole ‘o Moloka’i
Community Contributed by `Aha Ki`ole o Molokai