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Protecting and Managing Your Place

Aha o Molokai and Malama Mo`omomi News Release

Hawaiians always had strict rules and regulations when it came to harvesting from the shoreline and ocean. The Kapu System was set up to protect the natural resources from misuse and to insure that the future generations had the same resources for them to survive.

Molokai’s shorelines, especially west Molokai, are dotted with fishing Ko`a and Ku`ula shrines.  The fisherman’s first catch was placed on these ahu to honor the gods of the ocean, family aumakua, and the great teacher of fishing, conservation and sharing… Ku`ula Kai.

Molokai is in the process of applying for a State Community Based Subsistence Fishing Area (CBSFA) designation, which will help to protect Mo`omomi’s ocean and shoreline resources.  Hawaii’s natural resources are on a steep and alarming decline. Many old timers talk about, “Now no more fish…” and “All those Oahu and Maui guys coming to take our stuff…”

Many islands are now applying for CBSFA designation in order to manage their areas back to being healthy and productive.  Haena on north shore of Kauai had their Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) board hearing on Oct. 3 to ask for a CBSFA designation. Many of the Haena families testified in support of the new rules they wanted to protect their ahupua`a shoreline. People came from all the islands to testify in support, several commercial fishermen were not in support. It took the Haena community eight years of hard work to get this far.

Molokai will be having a “Proposed Rule Making Workshop” for the Mo`omomi CBSFA application on Saturday, Nov. 8, at Lanikeha Community Center from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. This workshop is just one of the many steps that have been taken over the years to get your input and mana`o on the kinds of rules needed to protect our resources for the future generations and at the same time allow us to feed our families today. State officials will be attending to answer any questions about the CBSFA program and process, and UH law students will help with the working groups on rules.

You will have a chance to participate in working groups to go over the “proposed rules,” and to give your mana`o for changes, solutions, questions or comments. Once we are OK with the rules, the rules will be presented to the attorney general’s office and to DLNR for their state rules making process.

You can go online to The Molokai Dispatch to see the proposed rules before you come to the workshop. Participation from all is needed, if we are to solve this problem of “declining resources” and to honor our kuleana to our future generations.

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