It seems that every traditional culture has/had its many ways of cultivating the wild in the ocean, waterways, and on land. These are so often family secrets passed on through the generations--creating a depth of knowledge that no paid specialist can ever attain. I have been lucky to hear what some families have done and still do, but they are family secrets--so I cannot spill the beans. But I can say that many of the strategies work by the way nature works. Knowing when, where, and how to do something consistently successful is some that takes generations to get just right so that one just grows up doing it rather than sitting in school for years, disconnected from the natural world.
In some ways, the true rewards within societies of multi-generational specialists cannot be commodified or enjoyed by those in our modern industrial civilizations. However, today's major agricultural civilizations continue to benefit from increased agricultural diversity from food plants developed over generations, indigenous knowledge about the use of medicinal plants is guiding medical herbalism research, and agroforestry, permaculture, and finally even western agriculture are increasingly being guided by indigenous models. Climate Smart Agriculture is one such advancement which is helping farmers in remote locations with few resources to become more self sufficient, productive, and trap carbon.
This article illuminates the tip of the iceberg if we are willing to dive in and see what other possibilities there are when applying traditional practices to conservation and restoration. A great place to start is respecting Hawaiian protocol since the Hawaiian culture has the greatest knowledge and experience in this area. Just recognizing the
My next question is, what is the point of trophy fishing contests and what is the effect?
By JOHN BURNETT
Tribune-Herald staff writer
“There’s not a lot of good news about Hawaii’s fisheries, but this is a really good story,” Teresa “Teri” Tico, a Kauai attorney and documentary filmmaker, said about her short film “Fishing Pono: Living in Harmony with the Sea.”
The 26-minute film, made for PBS Hawaii, will pair another environmental documentary “Plastic Paradise: The Great Pacific Garbage Patch” on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. at the Palace Theater. The double-feature is part of the Hawaii International Film Festival, which opens Wednesday and runs through Oct. 29.
Tico, a part-time Hilo resident and the film’s co-producer, went to Molokai with director Mary Lambert to investigate what modern-day Hawaiians, led by Kelson “Mac” Poepoe, are doing to ensure their near-shore fisheries survive for future generations.
“We have a narrator, Mauna Kea Trask, a young Hawaiian who wants to find out if what he heard about Molokai fisheries is true, that they were able to restore their fishing grounds using traditional practices,” Tico said Wednesday. “… So we went there and we met them and we found out what they did to bring their fish back and then we talked to some other people on some other islands, like Kauai, at Haena, where the Hawaiian fishermen are following the model that Mac Poepoe set up on Molokai to bring back their near-shore fisheries.”
A United Nations study found that global fish populations are on the brink of collapse, with more than 70 percent of the world’s fish either fully exploited or deleted. Tico said that Poepoe told her it’s not too late to reverse the trend and that his advice is, “Go back to the old ways, man.”
“He was able to convince the community that they had to use these traditional methods if they wanted to have any fish to eat in the future. And it’s a successful program that has been recognized by the state,” Tico said.
“What they’re doing is monitoring the fishing grounds, and when a species is becoming too limited, they’ll have a kapu season,” she continued. “They never take the fish with eggs. They don’t take the biggest fish; they don’t take the smallest fish. These are all traditional conservation methods that go back hundreds of years. They’re very simple; they make a lot of sense. But who’s going to do it when people can go out and catch fish and sell them for a lot of money. But on Molokai, where they have more of a subsistence lifestyle, they do it, or they wouldn’t have food.
“It’s a great story. There are so many environmental films that are about doom and gloom and rising sea levels and climate change and melting glaciers. And I just thought I want to do a story about an environmental problem we have that somebody has done something to turn the tide, so to speak, and improve the situation. And Mac Poepoe on Molokai has done that, and he’s a great role model.”
The film, two years in the making, will air on PBS Hawaii in early 2014. Asked what she learned in making the film, Tico replied: “What I learned is that we don’t have to reinvent the wheel to save our planet. It just takes will; it just takes the intent to follow through with what you know is good for the planet. … Basically, that’s all it takes. It’s so simple; it’s so logical. We don’t need any complicated science to tell us what we need to know to preserve and protect and restore our resources.”
Tickets are on sale now. A HIFF pass for all film screenings is $75. For individual films, regular Palace prices apply. Call 934-7010 to order tickets with a credit card or visit the box office between 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information, visit http://www.hilopalace.com.
Email John Burnett at email@example.com.