Maui News

First community-based subsistence fishing area begins five-year evaluation process

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Kīpahulu ʻOhana is working to designate Kīpahulu Moku as a Community-Based Subsistence Fishing Area (CBSFA) as part of its Malama I Ke Kai program. Photo Courtesy: Kīpahulu ʻOhana

During the administration of Gov. David Ige, three critical near-shore marine environments received additional protections, to sustain them well into the future. 

In 2014, the Hā‘ena community established the state’s first Community-based Subsistence Fishing Area. Designed to sustainably support the consumptive needs of the Hā‘ena ahupua‘a utilizing culturally rooted community-based management to ensure the sustainability of nearshore ocean resources.  

PC: DLNR Hawaiʻi
VC: DLNR Hawaiʻi

The CBSFA designation included specific fisheries regulations for the Hā‘ena nearshore area and a requirement for the DLNR to conduct an evaluation at the five-year mark to review the effectiveness of the CBSFA, revise the management plan as needed, and consider whether the CBSFA should be expanded.  


In partnership with the Hā‘ena community and the University of Hawai‘i,  the DLNR Division of Aquatic Resources has been monitoring the CBSFA to guage the success of the adaptive management plan goals and objectives.   

The COVID pandemic postponed the process, but now eight years after the CBSFA designation, the Hā‘ena community and DAR are set to host the five-year evaluation.  This evaluation process will serve as a pilot for how DAR will evaluate future Marine Management Areas. 

Presley Wann, president of the Hui Makaʻāinana o Makana (hui) said, “This is an opportunity for our hui to share lessons learned, how much work, dedication, and time is involved, and some realistic expectations of what needs improvement.”  Joined by uncle Keli‘i Alapa‘i, a long-time fisher, who added, “We want other communities interested in community-based fisheries management to understand and learn from us so they can be better prepared and  be ready.”   


Both Presley and Keli‘i will be attending the five-year evaluation on Saturday Aug. 27. It will include presentations from DAR, the DLNR Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation, the DLNR Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement, and from University of Hawai‘i researchers, and the hui. 

“We are excited to pilot this evaluation process with Hā‘ena as we will be looking at an adaptive management strategy for our current and future MMA’s as part of the Holomua: Marine 30×30 initiative. Adaptive management requires regular evaluation and feedback from ocean users. Our ocean is changing, the use of our ocean is changing, and we learn things along the way. It’s important to create the space to adjust marine management plans accordingly,” said Brian Neilson, DAR Administrator. 

The evaluation meeting is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Ke‘e Lo‘i. Comments, feedback, and recommendations will be compiled into a report that will be posted on the DAR website.   


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