We began our work in the early 1990s seeking to inspire our community of Mo'omomi on Moloka'i and other communities in Hawai'i to revive traditional customary practices based on natural resource cycles that help us regain knowledge and better sustain and manage our resources. Despite the rugged shoreline and windward exposure of Moloka'i's North Coast, it is regarded as an essential and extensively used traditional fishing and gathering area. The marine resources of this area have sustained the local Hawaiian population of north Moloka‘i since at least 900 A.D. Early inhabitants of nearby north coast valleys made regular canoe voyages to Moʻomomi to fish and gather ocean and coastal resources. Accounts from oral history allude to a time when indigenous inhabitants walked on trails from Nihoa to Kalaeokaʻīlio and beyond, monitoring and harvesting from managed koʻa (fishing grounds) which were marked along the shoreline by kūʻula (or fishing shrines). The knowledge, function and protocols related to the fishing grounds and kūʻula have been passed on from one generation to the next and are known by the master fishermen of this area to this day.
To reverse the declines we've observed in resources along our coastline, we are building support for community-based management, including a Community-Based Subsistence Fishing Area (CBSFA), and sharing 'ike (knowledge) to care for the ocean by mentoring youth and working with the community on the ground. You can find our CBSFA Proposal and Management Plan in the Materials section below. To contact us, please reach out to the Maui Nui Makai Network Coordinator.
Photo credit: Alana Yurkanin/TNC (header)