(BIVN) – A proposal to incorporate fishery rules for the Miloliʻi Community-Based Subsistence Fishing Area, or CBSFA, was advanced by the state land board on Friday.
The Hawaiʻi Board of Land and Natural Resources voted to approve a request from the DLNR Division of Aquatic Resources (DAR) to hold a public hearing to incorporate fishery rules for the Miloliʻi CBSFA. The South Kona area is known as the “the last Hawaiian fishing village”.
The Hawaiʻi Legislature officially designated the Miloliʻi CBSFA in 2005 and directed the Department of Land and Natural Resources to adopt management strategies that will “ensure long-term sustainable populations of fish and other marine species”, and “encourage the scientific study and understanding of subsistence fishing management.”
The Miloliʻi-based community group, Kalanihale, has been working with DAR to develop a proposed set of rules for the CBSFA.
A DLNR news release stated that Kalanihale “has done considerable outreach work to gather support for these rules from members of the Miloliʻi community and other stakeholders in the South Kona area.” The rules proposed for the Miloliʻi CBSFA include:
- Size and/or bag limits for pāku‘iku‘I, kole, uhu, opihi, and ula
- Seasonal restrictions for kole, ‘ōpelu, ‘ū ‘ū, and uhu
- No take of terminal males (blue) of the larger uhu species
- No take of female ‘a‘ama with eggs
- No take of ‘opihi kō‘ele
- No commercial aquarium fishing
- Specific gear and species restrictions within several sub-areas within the broader CBSFA boundary
Dozens of Miloliʻi residents attended the Friday BLNR meeting via Zoom, testified in support of the rules package. DLNR also noted a few people objected to it.
“I go holoholo with my papa, my mom and Uncle Will and learn the ways of ʻōpelu fishing from them,” wrote 12 year-old Cyrus Pohaku Kaupu, born and raised in Miloliʻi, in support of the rules. “From scraping pumpkin and kalo, to going to the koʻa and identifying the landmarks and to knocking on the side of the boat to let the kupuna know we are here before we enter with the meaʻai. The best part is when we pull up our catch and the first thing that either my papa or mom says is, here, handing me 2 of the biggest ʻopelu to honi and give back to Kanaloa with a mahalo!”
“Being that the Miloliʻi CBSFA was placed 4 years before my birth and as a next generation lawaiʻa and water man, I hope to continue catching and eating these ʻono iʻa well into my adulthood. A time where I can continue to eat the stories of our kupuna lawaiʻa,” Kaupu wrote.