Maui News

Kīpahulu to become third community-based subsistence fishing area

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‘Ōpelu Point in Kīpahulu, Maui. File PC: Shane Tegarden

The remote Kīpahulu area on the southeast side of Maui will become the third Community-Based Subsistence Fishing (CBSFA) area in Hawai‘i, following previous designations of Hā‘ena on Kaua‘i and Miloli‘i on Hawai‘i Island. 

CBSFAs are established to ensure abundant stocks of priority species and high-quality fishing now and in the future for residents and visitors. The designation is to reaffirm and perpetuate fishing practices that were customarily and traditionally exercised for Native Hawaiian subsistence, culture, or religion. 

The Board of Land and Natural Resources approved the Kīpahulu CBSFA designation on Friday.


In its submittal to the BLNR, the DLNR Division of Aquatic Resources wrote, “The purpose of this rule making action is to facilitate the substantive involvement of the community in resource management decisions for the area through dialogue with community residents and resource users; establish the ‘Opihi Rest Area to ensure stock health and to allow replenishment of this important food resources; and establish the Kukui Bay Sanctuary for the preservation and protection of critical nursery habitat for numerous marine species, including species traditionally relied upon for subsistence. 

Sanctuary in Kukui Bay, where taking of all marine life would be prohibited. File PC:

The Kīpahulu CBSFA is the result of extensive stakeholder engagement over the past decade.  By comparison the designation of the Hā‘ena CBSFA took 30 years. 

Kamalei Pico, Kīpahulu ‘Ohana Executive Director told the board, “The time has finally come. Reflecting back over the past 10 years, we’d like to take the time to celebrate all of the efforts and milestones through this process. Hundreds and hundreds of hours have been put into creating this rules package by our community members and partners.” 


DAR reports overwhelming support for the CBSFA designation and only made one clarifying amendment to the rules package concerning boundaries of the Kīpahulu designation. It will include all state waters and submerged lands from Kālepa Gulch in the west to Pua‘alu‘u Gulch in the east. The designation is described as a model of collaboration and will become effective upon signing by Governor Josh Green, M.D.  


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