Kohala Center to Assess Proposed Policy Changes at Moloka‘i Fishery

January 12, 2015, 11:09 AM HST · Updated January 12, 11:11 AM
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Molokai. Photo courtesy, Sarah Scoltock, American Safari Cruises.

Moloka‘i. Photo courtesy, Sarah Scoltock, American Safari Cruises.

By Maui Now Staff

The Health Impact Project has provided a grant to The Kohala Center to evaluate the potential health effects of proposed policy changes affecting the Hawaiian Native Mo‘omomi fishery on Moloka‘i.

Decision-makers are reviewing the current policy and considering protections for traditional fishing North Shore.

The center will conduct a health impact assessment (HIA) to study how regulation changes may affect diet, income, food security, and community well-being for native Hawaiians living on Moloka‘i.

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“This HIA seeks to provide evidence that will inform Hawai‘i’s decision-makers as they review and evaluate the current community-based subsistence fishing area (CBSFA) proposal for the Mo‘omomi fishery,” said Betsy Cole, chief operating officer for The Kohala Center. “Our desired outcome is that the approved CBSFA (community-based subsistence fishing area) proposal reflects a consideration of the differential health impacts of state versus community-managed fisheries. The findings and recommendations of an HIA particular to the Mo‘omomi site will also provide valuable information to CBSFA proposals from other regions of the state where such proposals are being considered.”

According to a recent study, 40 percent of families on Moloka‘i obtain their food from subsistence activities, including fishing. The Ho‘olehua Hawaiian Homestead community is highly dependent on the resources provided by the Mo‘omomi fishery.

The HIA study will involve staff and faculty from The Kohala Center, Sustainable Moloka‘i, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, and the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, working together with members of the community. The target date for completion is October 2015.

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