DLNR Press Release: MILOLI’I COMMUNITY SUBSISTENCE FISHING AREA BECOMES REALITY
Posted on June 9, 2022 in Latest news from the department, Press room
(HONOLULU) – Today, the State Board of Lands and Natural Resources (BLNR) adopted the Hawaii Administrative Rules (HAR) to designate the Miloli’i Community Subsistence Fishing Area (CBSFA), on the island of Hawaii.
The designation aims to ensure abundant stocks of priority species and high quality fishing now and in the future for residents and visitors to Miloli’i and to reaffirm and continue the fishing practices that were customarily and traditionally practiced for subsistence, culture or religion along the southwest coast of the island of Hawai’i.
In 2005, Miloliʻi became the first permanent CBSFA appointed by law in Hawaiʻi.
Following numerous community-led public workshops and community meetings, DLNR’s Division of Aquatic Resources (DAR) conducted a statewide public survey last December.
In testimony before the Land Board, DAR Administrator Brian Neilson said: “The Miloliʻi CBSFA is an excellent example of the interweaving of traditional and modern scientific knowledge and the enhancement of the capacity of the DLNR and the community to co-manage the public resources of the State.”
The coastal ecosystems of the South Kona Coast of Hawaii Island teemed with life and abundance that supported pockets of human settlement for the past 500 years. The fishing families of Miloliʻi have carried on these traditions and refer to Miloliʻi as their icehouse.
Considered “Hawaii’s Last Fishing Village,” the coastal areas surrounding Miloli’i are one of the last pockets of the state where traditional Hawaiian fishing practices have been preserved and are still practiced today. Unique to Miloliʻi and other South Kona communities is the relatively high documented number of villagers who have listed fishing as their primary occupation.
BLNR President Suzanne Case said, “It’s been a long road for the people of Miloli’i, but they persevered, and the CBSFA designation will ensure long-term sustainable populations of fish and other fish.” marine species and will encourage the scientific study and understanding of subsistence fisheries management.
DAR staff worked closely with the Miloliʻi-based community group, Kalanihale, to develop rules to achieve these goals.
Kalanihale has done extensive outreach to garner support for these rules from members of the Miloliʻi community and other stakeholders in the South Kona region. CBSFA rules include:
- Size and/or bag limits for pāku’iku’i, kole, uhu, opihi and ula
- Seasonal restrictions for kole, ‘ōpelu, ‘ū ‘ū and uhu
- No terminal males (blue) of larger uhu species
- No female catch ‘a’ama with eggs
- No taking of ‘opihi kō’ele
- No commercial aquarium fishing
- Specific gear and species restrictions in several sub-areas within the wider CBSFA boundaries
“The community has really embraced the concept of community. While a few people objected to some of the specific rules, the vast majority of people who commented during the public hearings and scoping meetings supported the CBSFA designation. This includes many young people, and their statements were often the most moving and meaningful, showing that this community is determined to preserve their way of life now and in perpetuity,” Neilson concluded.
Miloli’i Community Subsistence Fishing Area becomes official after Governor David Ige signs off.
(All images/videos courtesy of DLNR)
HD video – Presentation of the Miloli’i CBSFA:
HD Video – Miloli’i Media Clips (March 7, 2022):
HD Video – Miloli’i SOTS (March 7, 2022):
Photographs – Miloli’i (March 7, 2022):
Miloli’i CBSFA awareness materials:
Senior Communications Manager
Hawaii Department of Lands and Natural Resources