Hunting & Fishing

Surviving the Fall

Monday, September 19th, 2011

Surviving the Fall

“No dog is worth your life,” says Kaimana He, sitting in front of his house. Small scratches are faintly visible on his face; in the sun, the remnants of bruises are fading around his ribs.

His mother, Tina He-Lindsey, agrees.

“Even with the most experienced people, accidents still happen,” she says.

The pair knows what they’re talking about. It was only weeks earlier that He-Lindsey came home to a jolting phone call from family friend Dolphin Pawn: While trying to retrieve his dogs on a hunting trip with friends through Waialeia Valley that morning, Kaimana had fallen off a ledge more than 40 feet. He had a large gash on his forehead; the full extent of his injuries was unknown. Pawn, who was hunting with a separate party, stumbled across the boys and used his dogs’ GPS collars to pinpoint Kaimana’s location.

Sore and bloody, the 17-year-old would need to be airlifted to a hospital.

“It was a terrible day, our worst nightmare,” He-Lindsey says. “The first thing I did was pray to God to keep him safe, to comfort him and ask my grandfather to watch over him. … When you’re completely helpless to your own child, that’s reason enough to panic.”

The Accident
Kaimana and his friends left Kaunakakai about 4 a.m. on Sept. 3, planning to trek into the Molokai Forest Reserve to hunt boar. For Kaimana, pig-hunting is

,” he says. “The mountains may be beautiful but they can take your life.”

Recovering a Species

Monday, September 19th, 2011

Recovering a Species

The number of Hawaiian monk seals alive in the world is diminishing rapidly, but officials do not think their fate is sealed. That’s why the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) under the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is proposing actions they believe may help the recovery of the critically endangered species.

Some of those actions include population monitoring, behavior modification of seals (to discourage human interaction), health and disease control and translocation. While a few of these activities are already practiced under current federal permits, the NMFS is seeking new permits to implement and allow more actions.

The impact of these actions is currently being examined through a process called a Programmatic Environment Impact Statement (PEIS.) That process involves the collection of data, the examination of environmental, cultural and social impacts of the proposed recovery actions and public feedback.

In a hearing about the PEIS held on Molokai last Thursday, community members and fishermen offered their opinion on the proposals. Many expressed concerns about the large amount of fish Hawaiian monk seals eat – fish that they say could be going to feed their families.

“The point we are trying to make is fish is very important food source for us,” said fisherman Walter Naki.

Others didn’t support officials tampering with nature.

“We love the monk seals but we have to find the right balance – we are not God to say we’re going to put them here because they’re extinct,” said resident Eddie Tanaka.

here way before us,” said resident Loretta Ritte.

Sprague said if permitting and funding goes through, the soonest seals would be temporarily translocated would be 2013.

The public has until Oct. 17 to submit comments on the PEIS. The PEIS process is scheduled for completion in late 2011. Visit for more information. Comments may be emailed to or mailed to:
NOAA Fisheries
Office of Protected Resources, Pacific Islands Regional Office
1601 Kapiolani Blvd, Ste 1110
Honolulu, HI 96814

Seal Talk

Wednesday, September 7th, 2011

Seal Talk

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has proposed actions to help preserve the endangered Hawaiian monk seals.  Below, students reflect on how they feel about the native species and human interactions with them.

We should all come together and protect the Hawaiian Monk seals. Without our help the next generations would be without Hawaiian Monk seals. They wouldn’t get to experience what we did with them. I hope that everyone can just forget what bad things they do and find a way to help them out.
Ky-lee Dudoit-English

Braced for the Bull’s Eye

Monday, August 22nd, 2011

Braced for the Bull’s Eye

It’s a Saturday morning in Kalae, and the woods are quiet – until, suddenly, they’re pierced by the sound of a whistle. Moments later, dozens of “pop pop pops” seem to come from across the two-and-a-half-acre course all at once, as colorful arrows catapult through the air and lodge themselves in cardboard bales. The Molokai Bowhunters Association (MBA) is kicking off its marked animal target competition, an annual event sanctioned by the National Field Archery Association (NFAA).

As the tournament progresses, other sounds filter through the tall trees: laughter among friends as they move along the

guys to come out.”

Damien Pires, who has participated for about 10 years, said part of the fun is getting to hang out with old friends.

“I like getting back together with my friends from Maui, picking them up from the ferry,” he said. “We’re just having fun.”

First-place youth finishers included Kaheki Cuello (pee-wee, 560 points), Kainoa Aragosi (youth, 471), Gyson Aalone (young adult bowhunter freestyle, 497) and Kelson Uradomo (young adult freestyler, 576). In the adult divisions, first place was awarded to Tachibana (bowhunter freestyle, 571), Michael Kinores (freestyler, 576), Barry Agtarap (freestyle limited, 505), Marshall Rocine (traditional, 320), Sonny Aragosi (bowhunter freestyle limited, 475), and Frank Pupuhi (bowhunter freestyle guest class, 566). In addition to NFAA patches, all first-place finishers received trophies.

Lee thanked the tournament’s sponsors, which include MR Variety, Maka’s Corner, 808 Electric, Take’s Variety Store, Island Archery, and the Lee, Rapanot, Tancayo and Tachibana `ohanas, as well as Molokai’s bowhunters and everybody who participated.

New Bottomfish Rules

Monday, August 22nd, 2011

The Main Hawaiian Island (MHI) bottomfish season opens Sept. 1, and the state’s Department of Aquatic Resources (DAR) wants to more accurately count how many “Deep 7” and other bottomfish are being pulled from the ocean.

Starting this year, commercial fishermen must report to the DAR all bottomfish catches within five days of each trip – a substantial change from previous years, when for-profit fishermen were required to submit a monthly bottomfish catch report.

Officials said the changes will allow the DAR to collect more accurate data, which will help them better manage Hawaii’s fisheries.

However, some local fishermen feel their livelihood is being overregulated.

Keiki Fishermen

Wednesday, July 13th, 2011

Keiki Fishermen

The first keiki fishing tournament on Molokai proved a success on July 2, with more than 125 entries. The goal of the shoreline tournament on the island’s east end was to give children the chance to learn how to fish, practice catch and release techniques and most of all, have fun. More than 100 fish were caught, all weighing less than one pound. Entrants were judged on biggest catch or most caught.

The free event provided each child with a bamboo pole including bait, line, hooks lead, and floater. Three categories divided contestants by age, ranging from 2 to 12. First place in every category received a bike, while second and third places were awarded a cooler of fishing gear, and a fishing pole and tackle, respectively. All entrants received smaller prizes for participating.

One of the tournament’s organizers, Jr Kalawe, said he has participated in many fishing events himself, and wanted to give his son the same opportunity. He added the event was such a success that they’re already planning it again for next year.

Keiki Fishing Tournament Results

Ages 2 to 5:

1.    Olana Phifer
2.    David Lima English
3.    Tie: Khloe Bicoy, Tyahahua Cuello, Kailani Bicoy

Ages 6 to 9:

1.    Taua Lima English
2.    CJ Adolpho
3.    Maya Lima, Saven Ka`ahanui

Ages 10 to 12:

1.    Treyden Kalilikane
2.    Kaniela Kaupu
3.    Kea Sumarnap

A Shrimp’s Tale

Saturday, July 2nd, 2011

A Shrimp’s Tale

After a professional rugby stint, winning multiple Ka`iwi Channel canoe races, pilot training, and starting restaurants and construction companies, John Austin has found a new calling: shrimp.

Relatively new to the business, Austin moved to Molokai three and a half years ago to run Keawa Nui Farm, managing the operation nearly single-handedly.

Keawa Nui looks more like a hobby farm than a shrimp plantation, with horses, cattle, sheep and chickens scattered around the salt ponds. Growing up a fisherman’s son in New Zealand, Austin said he wanted to return to what his childhood was like.

“I bought this farm so my daughter could grow up the way I did,” Austin said, his voice becoming emotional when talking about five-year-old Madeline.

He bought the 80-acre shrimp farm – one of two on the island — taking over a lease from Kamehameha Schools. Austin’s shrimp are a hit with chefs around the state and even the mainland, and he ships out thousands of pounds of crustaceans every month.

In each circular pond, about the size of half a baseball diamond, Austin raises between 20,000 and 65,000 shrimp. That’s 12 to 200 shrimp per square meter.

The son of an English-Scottish father and Maori mother, Austin is the second-oldest of 10 children, and said when it comes to business, he is still of the “old school” persuasion. He started a sign production business in California out of his garage.

“Next thing I know I’m working in a 20,000 square foot building with over 100 employees,” he said. His work outfitted the Staples Center, the Hollywood Theater and Universal Studios among other well-known national landmarks.

In the time before he came to Hawaii in 1997, he has owned restaurants, a security business, earned his commercial pilot’s license in Michigan, and toured the U.S. via motorcycle – “I went on what you call a walkabout,” he said.

While living on Kauai six years ago, he met Hawaiian singer Amy Hanaialii through her brother. While their union did not last, Austin calls his daughter with Hanaialii “the dream of my life.” Still struggling with custody, Austin said it was difficult no longer being able to share his lifestyle with his daughter.

However, Austin is on the path to building a legacy for little Madeline. Besides opening production on the hatchery, Austin wants to create a food brand for Molokai.

“It was a dream when I first got here to have a Molokai brand – shrimp cakes and deer burgers – at a roadside shrimp stand,” he said. He also often donates from his farm to Molokai fundraisers – cows or pigs, and gave away his shrimp to the recently visiting Polynesian voyagers. While ambition is on the horizon, he is focusing on one shrimp order at a time for now.

“I’m working on living off the land; I think I’m somewhere near that now,” he said. “There’s not a better way to live.”

Check out the Keawa Nui Farm online at

Marlin Party

Monday, February 28th, 2011

Marlin Party

Community Contributed by Matt Yamashita

What lures a fisherman back to the water time and again is the fact that you never know what’s going to happen. It’s also nice to share the ocean’s unpredictable moments with someone else, to have a witness to the otherwise unbelievable.

I have more than a few great fishing memories, but this past Monday tops them all – for now.  I took my friend Chris Hammond 20 miles out on my 15-foot Boston Whaler to try and find the big ahi I’ve been chasing for years.  The water was a little rough and the bite slow.  We got bumped around and barely picked up a dozen three pound tuna.  Not bad, but definitely not what we were hoping for.       

At about 9:30 a.m. we decided to head home.  It was still early and the water was getting nicer so we put some lures out hoping for a mahi-mahi on the way.

Our conversation eventually went to where most conversations go on an uneventful day of trolling – “Would be nice to catch a marlin,” and, “It’s gotta happen one of these days.”  But as often as it is talked about, it usually doesn’t happen.

We were just three miles outside of the Kaunakakai Harbor when our day went from regular to unforgettable.  I just happened to look back to check the lures when I see a big, dark marlin head break water behind our boat.  It’s chasing the lucky lure my wife gave me for Christmas four years ago. “Marlin, marlin!”  I yelled.

I hold our speed and we watch it come thrashing behind the lure two more times before it takes it.  Chris goes to grab the pole, but I yell at him excitedly, “let it run, let it run… clear the other lines!”  I keep the throttle up to insure the hook is set and then begin turning the boat to chase the now jumping beast.

“Brah, that’s a big one!  That’s a blue!  Let’s get it on the boat!”

I have a pretty small boat and I run pretty light gear (Shimano TLD 30s), so I’m thinking we’ll be pretty lucky to land this monster.  But I want to come home with the fish and not just the story, so I remember the good advice of Capt. Clay Ching, “Stay calm, take your time, and trust your equipment.” 

Chris and I spend the next 45 minutes chasing our marlin around, trying to tire it out so we can bring it in safely.  Finally, we get the fish next to the boat, I tie the bill to my rail and Chris sinks the gaff.  This one wasn’t getting away.

So with the tail and head sticking out either side of my boat we proudly head back in to the wharf, adrenaline still pumping.  This is the first blue marlin for my boat and I think the first marlin caught on Molokai in 2011.  It weighed in at 212 pounds and fed a whole bunch of families. 

You never know what’s going to happen when you go fishing.  Sometimes, you get lucky.  That’s why we keep going. 

Wharf Construction To Begin

Monday, December 13th, 2010

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