Domesticated rabbits on Molokai that have escaped or been released have been reported around the island and pose a dangerous threat to the ecosystem if not controlled, according to local natural resource managers.
“There are confirmed sightings in a widespread area,” said Butch Haase, executive director of the Molokai Land Trust (MLT). “They could cause devastating ecological and economic impacts like nothing we’ve seen before.”
Haase said MLT staff found a rabbit in one of its fenced restoration sites in the Mokio Preserve near Ilio Point.
“The rabbit had been browsing the endangered ohai plants within the fenced site to the point of killing many of the plants,” he said, adding the animal was large and mostly white. “The rabbit was captured and removed, but there have been other sightings across central and west Molokai.”
Rabbits have also been reported near Hale O Lono, Kaluakoi, Kalae, Ho`olehua, Kaunakakai and Kawela.…
A 26-year-old paramedic from Molokai died in a freediving accident last Saturday on the island’s west end. Steven “Keku” Likua went diving with friends off Kaiaka Rock at about 3 p.m. He was last seen an hour later, approximately 300 yards off shore, wearing a camouflage wet suit with fins, snorkel and mask, according to police. When the other divers emerged, Likua did not, and after searching the area, friends reported him missing. Local emergency responders got the call around 6:20 p.m., and notified the Coast Guard to join efforts.
After an extensive search of the shoreline Saturday night yielded no results, firefighters suspended the search at 9:30 p.m., according to the Maui Fire Department.…
After a commercial operation was discovered overharvesting sea cucumbers earlier this year, the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) is seeking to regulate the catch and consumption of the marine creature throughout the state.
Previously, there were “no rules at all” protecting sea cucumbers, which serve an important purpose in the ocean, said Russell Sparks, aquatic biologist with the Division of Aquatic Resources (DAR).
“The … thing that concerned us is the role these animals play on the reef,” Sparks explained. “They’re kinda like earthworms on land. They gotta turn the sediments over and clean it.”
Last week DLNR officials held a public hearing on Molokai to discuss proposed regulations with community members.…
Poepoe, left, and Mauna Kea Trask. Photo courtesy of Teresa Tico.
A half-hour documentary film featuring Molokai resource manager Mac Poepoe is now available for free streaming online through the end of July. “Fishing Pono: Living In Harmony With The Sea” tells the story of declining fisheries and how some Native Hawaiian communities are using traditional conservation practices to restore their fishing grounds. The film, which premiered on PBS last summer, explores the exploitation of commercial fishing, in contrast with the sustainable resource management taught by Poepoe.
“I was drawn to Mr. Poepoe’s story because of the success of his program,” said filmmaker and producer Teresa Tico of Kauai.…
Hanohano Naehu (far left, in yellow) gives the Rapa Nui visitors a tour of the spring bordering the fishpond. Photo by Clare Mawae.
On a bright and breezy Thursday morning, two men from different parts of the world knelt over a pile of freshly netted weke. One was a Molokai born-and-raised fishpond keeper, the other, a Spanish-speaking Rapa Nui fisherman, each knowing just a few words of the other’s native tongue. Under a shady tree, they pulled out knife and fork and began scraping translucent scales from the fish in the same methodical style. Neither could say very much to each other, but they spoke the common language of men whose livelihoods revolve around fish.…
Hui Malama O Mo`omomi News Release
On Saturday, April 25, Hui Malama O Mo`omomi is hosting a meeting about the Mo`omomi Community-based Subsistence Fishing Area Designation. This is the second phase of meetings with the public sector.
In the first phase, fishermen and families from Pala`au Moku and other interested residents reviewed the CBFSA proposed rules for resource sustainability at Mo`omomi, providing feedback and adding suggestions. This next phase brings forward the mana`o given by stakeholders in rule-making, for the management of resources by the community.
The meeting will be held on April 25 at Kulana `Oiwi from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.…
Divers harvested over 1,000 pounds of invasive roi in the island’s second annual tournament. Photo courtesy of Dicky Dowling.
Molokai divers joined forces last month for a cause – to save native fish species by ridding the island of about 1,000 pounds of invasive roi.
“Nowadays everyone is about malama this, malama that. This is really giving back to the reef,” said local diver Dicky Dowling, who organized the second annual Molokai Roi Tournament. “That’s the most invasive species… Somebody gotta do something, you cannot just stand on the side.”
In the 1950s, the Hawaii Department of Fish and Wildlife introduced roi as a game fish for food.…
When California resident Bryce Anderson visited Molokai in February, he thought it was the perfect place to get away from the city.
Anderson runs a company called Man Skills Academy (MANSA), a San Francisco-based organization built on developing men’s real-life skills and social relatability that Anderson feels are lost to technology. Wanting to hold a back-to-the-basics nature retreat for MANSA, Anderson created Man Camp Molokai and began promoting the island and the event to group members.
“Are you ready for the adventure of a lifetime on the coolest island in the entire world??!” he posted on the social planning site meetup.com.…
By `Aha Kiole O Molokai Members
Since statehood, the people of Molokai have relied on state government to manage Molokaiʻs ocean resources. We are currently witnessing profound shortagesin our subsistence gathering sources, which island families rely heavily on. We have fewer income opportunities and higher costs of living than most of the other islands.
From the early 90s, an effort to slow down the noticeable losses from our once rich ecosystems was begun. Management by the DLNR has not yielded positive outcomes in terms of maintaining sustainable and healthy nearshore fisheries.
Out of necessity and concern for our families, Molokai has independently generated its own island-wide conservation effort. …
When the Dispatch published a story earlier this month about a bullet being shot through a west end home, Molokai kupuna and hunter Yama Kaholoaa was concerned for the safety of Molokai residents and called the island’s hunters together.
“[This] is not to make rules and regulations… but to be responsible and teach our children and grandchildren about safety,” Kaholoaa told the group that responded to his request to meet.
The west end homeowner, who wished to remain anonymous, told the Dispatch a bullet had been shot at night through his house at the north end of Papohaku Beach. Being a hunter himself, he said while the incident left him and his wife shaken up, he did not want to press charges but instead hoped the dangerous mishap would raise awareness of hunting safety.…