About The Kaʻū Calendar

Ka`u, Hawai`i, United States
A locally owned and run community newspaper (www.kaucalendar.com) distributed in print to all Ka`u District residents of Ocean View, Na`alehu, Pahala, Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park, Volcano Village and Miloli`i on the Big Island of Hawai`i. This blog is where you can catch up on what's happening daily with our news briefs. This blog is provided by The Ka`u Calendar Newspaper (kaucalendar.com), Pahala Plantation Cottages (pahalaplantationcottages.com), Local Productions, Inc. and the Edmund C. Olson Trust.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Ka`u News Briefs Oct. 3, 2011

Ka`u and Miloli`i coast projects funded by Conservation International's Hawai`i Fish Trust Program would be
designed and implemented by the local community.  Photo by Julia Neal
CONSERVATION INTERNATIONAL has announced that it will fund projects to improve fish populations in nearshore waters and availability of fish for the diet of local residents. It presented the opportunity to area residents gathered at Miloli`i last Friday. Miloli`i has long been considered a part of Ka`u, and residents of Na`alehu and Pahala have a tradition of trading taro and locally grown beef for fresh fish from Miloli`i.
     Stephanie Tabada asked whether the program would force local fishermen to give up any of their practices. Melissa Bos, director of Conservation International’s Hawai`i Fish Trust Program, stressed that the effort would be designed and implemented by the local community. The nonprofit would provide funding rather than drive the program.
     Fishermen, gathered at the meeting sponsored by Pa`a Pono Miloli`i at the Miloli`i Halau, acknowledged that the fishery has diminished in Miloli`i and all along the Ka`u coast. Conservation International states on its website that for Hawai`i, “fishing has been a backbone of the economy, the foundation of the culture, and a globally important hotspot for ocean biodiversity.”
     Conservation International has programs around the world with more than a thousand employees. The only place where it operates in the U.S., however, is Hawai`i, and these are some of the reasons given:
     The asset value of Hawai`i’s coral reefs is $10 billion, and the annual value is $364 million.
     Hawai`i has over 1,250 unique marine species, making it a global hotspot for biodiversity. One in every four marine species that you see in Hawai`i's waters is found nowhere else on earth.
     Fishing and other ocean recreation activities are essential to the Hawaiian way of life. Sixty-eight percent of Hawai`i households participate regularly in ocean recreation, including 26 percent of households that regularly pole-and-line fish.
Residents of Miloli`i have a tradition of trading fresh fish
for taro and beef from residents of Na`alehu and Pahala.
Photo by Julia Neal
     Commercial fisheries in Hawai`i bring in $85 million annually, employ 3,000 commercial fishers, and supply seafood to people throughout the U.S. mainland and Asia.
     According to Conservation International, threats to marine habitat and resources in the inhabited Hawaiian Islands are enormous and expanding:
     Overdevelopment and urbanization of small coastal watersheds has had devastating impacts on natural ecosystems and fish habitat.
     Forty-one percent, or 219, of the state's coastal areas are considered “impaired” by poor water quality. Raw sewage spills into coastal waters 200-300 times per year.
     Hawai`i has an estimated 100,000 cesspools, more than any other state in the U.S. in both relative and absolute terms.
     Sediment runoff from coastal construction smothers and kills reef habitat.
     Invasive fish and algae compete with native species for space and food.
     Warming water temperatures, ocean acidification, and coral bleaching are impairing marine ecosystem resilience.
     Fishing pressure is very high from recreational, subsistence, and commercial fishing:
     Seventy-four percent of fish stocks are depleted or in critical condition.
     Non-commercial fishers catch 22 million pounds of fish per year.
     Commercial fishers catch 33 million pounds of fish per year.
     Ninety-six percent of fishers believe that overfishing is a problem, and surveys show that the more you fish, the more of a problem you believe overfishing to be.
     Fish biomass is 260 percent higher in the unpopulated Northwestern Hawaiian Islands than in the populated Main Hawaiian Islands.
     According to Conservation International, success in managing fisheries “has been limited by the lack of substantial participation by a key group of stakeholders: the fishing communities” themselves.
     Anyone wanting to offer ideas for a program on the Ka`u Coast to Miloli`i can contact Bos at Melissa@HawaiiFishTrust.org or see hawaiifish.org.

One of the County redistricting plans renames
District 6 as District 7.
SIX DIFFERENT REDISTRICTING OPTIONS are being considered at public meetings throughout Hawai`i County this month. The maps will be presented in District 6 at Na`alehu Community Center on Wednesday, Oct. 12 at 6 p.m. and at Yano Hall in Captain Cook on Thursday, Oct. 20 at 6 p.m. 

A NEW TRAIL AT THE KAHUKU UNIT of Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park opens Saturday. The Palm Trail crosses scenic pasture along an ancient cinder cone with panoramic views. A celebration takes place at the trailhead at 10 a.m., followed by a guided hike. Another guided hike begins at 11 a.m. The Kahuku Unit is open weekends from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. except for the first Saturday of each month.

THE ACOUSTIC HAWAIIAN JAM at Honu`apo happens Sunday, Oct. 9 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Ka `Ohana O Honu`apo and Keoki Kahumoku invite everyone to bring their acoustic instruments to this free family event to celebrate another year of Ka `Ohana’s stewardship of the park.