(BIVN) – During a January 10 field tour of Kaloko-Honokōhau National Historical Park, the Hawaiʻi Department of Land and Natural Resources recorded the reflections of Mahealani Pai, a Hawaiian cultural practitioner with deep roots in the area.
Pai spent some time talking about the traditions of fishing in the area, which led to stories about the honu, or sea turtles, that were also on the menu in the old days.
“Today’s laws prevent us from go get the turtle,” Pai said, overlooking the ocean. He said the problem is, fisherman often don’t intend to catch the turtle, but it gets caught in the net. “We get too much turtle,” he said, adding that there needs to be balance. Hawai‘i’s green sea turtles have shown a good population recovery in recent years, according to the DLNR.
Pai adheres to the current laws. Seat turtles are a federally protected species. When Pai sees other fishermen grab a honu from the waters, he says he has to confront them, and tell them, “put the turtle back.”
“When you guys do that, you make us look bad,” Pai tells them.
The field tour was part of an Adaptive Management Symposium on the Groundwater Dependent Ecosystems at Kaloko-Honokōhau National Historical Park.
by Big Island Video News
KONA, Hawaiʻi - Interactions between humans and honu in the waters off Kaloko-Honokōhau National Historical Park have become more complicated as the protected species grow in numbers.