Honolulu, Hawaiʻi (July 14, 2016) — Conservation International Hawaiʻi (CI) has received a $150,000 grant from the Office of Hawaiian Affairs to support a collaborative program to develop culturally and economically sustainable production in loko iʻa — traditional Hawaiian fishponds. The objectives of the program include developing viable ways to cultivate sustainable seafood in Hawaiian fishponds, fostering business models to bring local, sustainably grown seafood products to nearby communities and consumer markets and sharing lessons learned among fishpond practitioners to enable best practices to be implemented in loko iʽa statewide.
The program is a collaborative effort from CI, Oceanic Institute, Harold K.L. Castle Foundation, Matariki Group, Ulupono Initiative, Kua ʻAina Ulu ʻAuamo, and several loko iʻa, including Loko Ea and Paepae o Heʻeia on Oahu, Keawanui on Molokaʻi and Hale o Lono on Hawaiʻi Island. These entities share the same uniting goals in this work: to increase fish production from loko iʻa, providing locally sustainably sourced food to communities and bringing additional jobs to Hawaiians, who run most loko iʻa, thereby enabling them to perpetuate their cultural practices.
"Restoring the productivity of these fishponds creates a triple-bottom line impact," said Jack Kittinger, who directs Conservation International's Hawaiʻi program. "It supports sustainable livelihoods, increases our local food security and revitalizes customary practices that benefit communities across the pae'āina."
This grant aligns with the Office of Hawaiian Affairs' strategic priority of protecting ʻaina to improve the conditions of the native Hawaiian community. The Office of Hawaiian Affairs awards community grants through a competitive application and review process; further information can be found at http://www.oha.org/grants.
About Conservation International
Conservation International (CI) uses an innovative blend of science, policy and partnerships to protect the nature people rely on for food, fresh water, and livelihoods. Founded in 1987, CI works in more than 30 countries on six continents to ensure a healthy, prosperous planet that supports us all. Learn more about CI and the "Nature Is Speaking" campaign, and follow CI's work on Facebook, YouTube and Instagram.