IntroductionDo you like eating fish ? Sometimes in the past,fishponds played an important role in the Hawaiianculture. A fishpond is a stone wall surroundingwater. It provided some reliable food sources suchas fish, crabs, and limu. Therefore, people areworking to restore fishponds so they canagain,become a reliable food source.
Event.Problem.IssueIn every issue investigation there is always aE.P.I. E.P.I is an abbreviation of event, problem,and issue. The event for our issue is fishpondshaven’t been maintained well and are allmistreated. Our problem is that fishponds arecausing a unhealthy near shore eco-system.Last but not least is the issue. Our issue is “Howcan fishponds be maintained in a way thatsupports a healthy near shore eco-system?”
HistoryFishponds were estimated to exist for over 2,000years. At one point in time, fishponds producedthousands of pounds of fish. In 1785, when CaptainCook came to Hawaii there were 360 fishponds. By1960, there were six fishponds that were reported tobe in use on Oahu. At the beginning of the 20th century,only 60 of the original 486 fishponds were productive.The Hawaiians built these rock walled enclosures in thenear shore waters to raise fish. The fish that wereraised were for their families and communities. Tobuild these fishponds the Hawaiians had to pass rocksfrom the source of the stones to the fishpond site.Therefore, natural disasters had left fishpondsmistreated.
Player 1During our issue investigation Uncle MervinDudoit played an important role. Uncle Mervin is acultural practitioner and fishpond restorer. Someinformation he shared is as follows : “Fishponds aredead without freshwater springs.” “Ogo is no good forfishponds.” “I don’t want to use herbicide at all in thepond, because I don’t know if it is going to harm thepond.” “All rocks for fishponds came from the northside of Molokai.” He was very helpful and hisknowledge really assisted with our knowledge.
Player 2Another important player in our investigation isAunty Arleone Dibben Young. Aunty Arleone is abiologist, and she is the only one on Molokai who isallowed and approved to use the mangroveherbicide. These is some of the information shepassed along to us : “Mangroves were planted tostop erosion.” “More people on Molokai should getcertified using the herbicide.” and her last quote was“Pohoele fishpond is located in palaau and somemistakenly call it palaau pond. It is now filled withsediment from overgrazing and farming and is solidmangrove.” Thus, she taught us many importantthings about mangroves and their impact onfishponds.
Player 3Another player in our issue investigation isJoseph M. Farber. He is the author of the AncientHawaiian Fishpond book. He played and importantrole by recording what he learned about the historyof fishponds. He said “Fishponds are uniquecreatures and are historically important. They areof great culture and spiritually significance to theHawaiian culture.” A good part of our researchcame from him.
Player 4On January 1956, Governor Samuel WilderKing made two statements about restoringMolokai’s fishponds. His first statements was,“The territorial government will provideimmediate plans for the restoration of fishpondson Molokai.” He then stated “If this issuccessful, more fishponds will be restored inorder to raise fish for the commercial market.”Undoubtedly I believe that Governor King’sstatement is important to remember.
Environmental ImpactsFishponds are causing an un-healthy nearshore ecosystem. The walls of the fishpondscause muddy silt to build up which is caused byerosion. Hence the erosion hurts the reefs andpollutes the ocean. The mangroves spread alongthe rock wall and it causes the wall to breakapart. The gorilla ogo is a bad specie for thefishpond because its endangered and it growswild. Tsunamis and sea storms fill in the pondand destroys the walls as well. In conclusion, thisshould not be happening and it needs to besolved soon.
Data SetIn 1829, Puko’o fishpond was the last constructedfishpond. The amount of fish harvested were enough to feedthe chief’s, families, and communities. The types of fish raised inthe fishponds are ‘ama’ama (mullet), awa (milkfish), ahole-hole,moi, papio, oio, and other fishes that come in and out. Theyproduce some 460-600 pounds per acre per year. The cost torestore a fishpond is between $50-80,000. In 1997, there were335 fishponds, it was evaluated that only 56 had the potential tobe restored. Of the 56 ponds 6 were rated as excellent, 15 weregood, and the rest were fair or poor in terms of potentialproductivity. Today, there are a few fishponds that producecommercially. Those /that do cultivate ogo, rainbow trout, carp,and tilapia. In final consideration, fishponds has declined rapidlyover the past century.
State BuildingFishponds can be bought , leased, and sold. To restore afishpond multiple permits are required. The permits requiredare federal, county, and state. You will need 17 permits andthey will cost between $50-80,000. This process takes severalyears to complete. Leasing a state owned fishpond possesmany obstacles, such as cost and time. In 2002, the DLNRgave permission to restore Keawenui fishpond for small scalenon-commercial activities. The DLNR told the state ownedfishponds that they need to take care of there resources andtake good responsibility. Fishponds are consideredsubmerged lands. Therefore the laws for the fishponds aregetting more and more strict.
ConclusionIn conclusion fishponds were a reliablesource of food for the Hawaiians. Fishponds canalso provide educational opportunities andshare cultural values for the people of Hawaii.Therefore I think that we should continue andkeep this Hawaiian culture going.
Bibliography• - Title: Ancient Hawaiian aquaculture• <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ancient_Hawaiian_aquaculture• Edited by: Ruth Rosauer• - Title: Hawaiian Fishponds of Molokai• http://www.gohawaii.com/molokai/regions-neighborhoods/central-molokai/hawaii-fishponds• Author: Unknown• - Title: Department of Land and Natural Resources Sustainability Hotspot• www.state.hi.us/dlnr/pdf/waialua.pdf• Author: Unknown• - Title: Ancient Hawaiian Fishpond• Pages: 1 – 41• Published Date: March 1997• Author: Joseph M. Farber