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Friday, March 24, 2023

Kaʻū News Briefs, Friday, March 24, 2023

After Dark in the Park on Tuesday features Food Security and Aquaculture. Photo from Blue Ocean Mariculture

FOOD SECURITY AND AQUACULTURE is the topic of next Tuesday's After Dark in the Park when CEO of Blue Ocean Mariculture is the speaker at 7 p.m. in  Kīlauea Visitor Center auditorium at Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park.
    Hawaiʻi has a long history of aquaculture. Loko iʻa, or fishponds, sustained Native Hawaiians when
wild fish and birds were not easily captured. Today, aquaculture plays a larger role in the local diet. 
    Learn how the growth of aquaculture, both on land and in the open ocean, will ensure a sustainable source of high-quality, safe, native fish. Dick Jones, CEO of Blue Ocean Mariculture located off the Kona Coast and the only open-ocean finfish aquaculture company in the U.S., is the featured speaker.
Blue Ocean Mariculture grows kanpachi.
Photo from Blue Ocean Mariculture
     Blue Ocean Mariculture grows some 800 tons of kanpachi (yellowfin) per year. Its website says, "Blue Ocean specializes in mariculture, not fish farming. We raise our Hawaiian Kanpachi in their natural environment, the open ocean, at depths and temperatures that are ideal for their natural biology to guarantee healthy and sustainable food for customers who can taste the difference Hawaiian waters make. Deep water submersible pens remove our stock from potential near-shore conflicts while making it easy to monitor and maintain water quality, preserve seafloor health, and limit wildlife interactions. Our fish are fed a premium diet of fish meal, fish oil, and non-GMO grain while spawning naturally under observation to ensure that population is controlled to prevent overwhelming the local ecosystem."
     The talk this Tuesday is one of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ongoing After Dark in the Park programs, sponsored by Friends of Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. Free, but park entrance fees apply.

THE VITUAL PUBLIC MEETING ON THE DRAFT MANAGEMENT PLAN FOR WAIKAPUNA is posted online, with the meeting slideshow, meeting video recording and the Draft Management Plan itself.      
Comments on the Waikapuna Management Plan are due April 22.
Photo from Ala Kahakai Trail Association
     Waikapuna is one of the large parcels of land preserved on the Ka'u Coast. It was slated for subdivision and sales on the open market, but public and private funds purchased it and transferred title to Ala Kahakai Trail Association with a conservation easement owned by County of Hawai'i which is obligated to oversee its stewardship. Part of the process is developing a Waikapuna Management Plan. Public comments on the Draft Management Plan are due April 22. They can be submitted through https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfcQOPqii210k30nY_I3OqCB8pMj63b7VTx9VgnV1mAOC_9qg/viewform or emailed to Gabrielle Sham at gabrielle@townscapeinc.com.
    See the slideshow that was presented at this week's meeting at https://records.hawaiicounty.gov/weblink/1/edoc/122216/Waikapuna_Community%20Mtg_March%2022,%202023%20on%20the%20Draft%20Plan.pdf.
    See the video recording of this week's public meeting at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kePqGz5UXg
    See the Draft Management Pan for Waikapuna at https://records.hawaiicounty.gov/weblink/1/edoc/121424/Waikapuna%20Resources%20Management%20Plan_Public%20Review%20Draft_February%202023.pdf
    A hard copy of the draft plan is also available at the Nāʻālehu Public Library and Pahala Public Library.

A 270-FOOT LONG CUTTER WILL JOIN THE COAST GUARD FLEET IN HAWAI'I. Congressman Ed Case made the announcement on Friday. He said the Coast Guard plans to use the Medium Endurance Cutter Harriet Lane as an addition to a Hawai‘i-based fleet for responsibilities in Hawai‘i waters as well as an increasing Coast Guard presence throughout the Indo-Pacific. 
     The ship is especially suited for longer-range six-to-eight week joint operational and training patrols in the Pacific, taking pressure off shorter range Hawai‘i-based ships more suited to service closer to home port. 
The Harriet Lane, a 270-foot-long Coast Guard cutter, will join the Hawai'i fleet next year.
Photo from U.S. Coast Guard

     Case said, “The deployment of the Harriet Lane signals our country’s stepped-up interest in the Indo-Pacific, the most dynamic and consequential region in the world, to include two of the world’s largest economies (China and the United States), nine of the ten busiest seaports and 60 percent of global maritime trade.” Case is a member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security, which has jurisdiction over the Coast Guard. He recently joined a Congressional delegation with his House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense that visited Japan, Taiwan, and Korea. “Hawai‘i is at the center of the Indo-Pacific’s future, and the Coast Guard is a critical part of our country’s efforts in maritime security, humanitarian and other region-wide engagement.” 
    The Coast Guard announced that Harriet Lane was selected as the new Indo-Pacific Support Cutter, and will relocate from Portsmouth, VA to the Pacific theater early in FY 2024. The Service intends to initially berth the Cutter in Hawai‘i for several years to ensure the asset meets the operational needs and has proper shoreside support. The Coast Guard will continue conducting thorough port assessments in the Indo-Pacific region to ensure the final permanent homeport has the necessary logistical foundations available and in place. 
    As a member of the House Appropriations Committee, Case included language in the federal Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 budget supporting the Coast Guard in the Indo-Pacific and requiring the Coast Guard to examine its assets in Oceania and its facilities on O‘ahu. The Coast Guard is utilizing that budget funding to operate the Harriet Lane in the Pacific and provide necessary supporting elements and personnel to maintain the vessel. (more) (3) In January of this year, Case discussed his support for increased Coast Guard presence in the Indo-Pacific during meetings in Honolulu with Rear Admiral Michael Day, Commander of the 14th Coast Guard District which has jurisdiction from the Hawaiian Islands and across most of the Central and Western Pacific, as well as with Captain Aja Kirksey, Commander of Coast Guard Sector Honolulu, which covers 200 nautical miles surrounding the islands and atolls of the State of Hawai‘i. 
    Over the last three years, Case has repeatedly called for increased Coast Guard presence in the Indo-Pacific. As a founding member of the Congressional Pacific Islands Caucus, Case gained approval in the FY 2021 federal budget of an overall funding level of $12.8 billion for the Coast Guard, including language advocating for an increased operational role for the Coast Guard in the nation's Indo-Pacific Strategy and requiring a new strategic intent report to reflect the Coast Guard’s evolving and growing role in the region. 
   Speaking at a conference this Wednesday, Coast Guard Deputy Commandant for Operations Policy Rear Adm. Michael Ryan said that Western Pacific deployments would increase threefold in coming years. Case said: “I welcome the Coast Guard’s expanded role in the Indo-Pacific, as it has been one of our country’s best ambassadors to this critical region. And this expansion will heighten Hawaii’s own role as a center of our country’s efforts in the Indo-Pacific as well as ensuring that our own home waters are fully protected.”

In the mail and on stands.


St. Jude's Hot Meals are free to those in need on Saturdays from 9 a.m. until food runs out, no later than noon. Volunteers from the community are welcome to help and can contact Karen at pooch53@gmail.com. Location is 96-8606 Paradise Circle Drive in Ocean View. Those in need can also take hot showers from 9 a.m. to noon and use the computer lab from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Free Meals Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays are served from 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Nā'ālehu Hongwanji. Volunteers prepare the food provided by 'O Ka'ū Kākou with fresh produce from its gardens on the farm of Eva Liu, who supports the project. Other community members also make donations and approximately 150 meals are served each day.


Volcano Evening Market, Cooper Center, Volcano Village, Thursdays, 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., with live music, artisan crafts, ono grinds, and fresh produce. See facebook.com.

Volcano Swap Meet, fourth Saturday of the month from 8 a.m. to noon. Large variety of vendors with numerous products. Tools, clothes, books, toys, local made healing extract and creams, antiques, jewelry, gemstones, crystals, food, music, plants, fruits, and vegetables. Also offered are cakes, coffee, and shave ice. Live music.                                                                                                                                  Volcano Farmers Market, Cooper Center, Volcano Village on Sundays, 6 a.m. to 10 a.m., with local produce, baked goods, food to go, island beef and Ka'ū Coffee. EBT is used for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly Food Stamps. Call 808-967-7800.

O Ka'ū Kākou Market, Nā'ālehu, Wednesdays, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Contact Nadine Ebert at 808-938-5124 or June Domondon 808-938-4875. See facebook.com/OKauKakouMarket.

Ocean View Community Market, Saturdays and Wednesdays, 6:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., corner Kona Dr. Drive and Hwy 11, near Thai Grindz. Masks mandatory. 100-person limit, social distancing required. Gate unlocked for vendors at 5:30 a.m., $15 dollars, no rez needed. Parking in the upper lot. Vendors must provide their own sanitizer. Food vendor permits required. Carpooling is encouraged.