Fish for the Nation

Posted by Keli'i Kotubetey on September 19, 2013

Not just any fish for the nation, ‘ama’ama (mullet) to be exact.

On Monday September 16th, Paepae o He’eia staff and interns were unbelievably fortunate to have the opportunity to lend a helping hand at Loko ‘Ea fishpond in Hale’iwa. Our task that day was to capture, as safely as possible, between 20 and 40 ‘anae or ‘ama’ama (depends on the size) for transport to Oceanic Institute. The purpose of this activity was to introduce healthy and sexually reproductive male and female mullet to Oceanic Institute’s hatchery in Waimanalo with the hopes that they will spawn a new generation of healthy pua’ama (baby mullet) to be the seed stock for fishpond stocking trials across the state.

It was a collaborative effort and experiment to figure out the best way, where, and when to capture the fish and make sure they were handled as safely as possible, lost the least amount of scales, and were moved quickly to the large transport tanks. Big mahalos to the Mālama Loko ‘Ea Foundation (Kimi, Jessica, and crew), Oceanic Institute (Chad and his crew), the Hawai’i Fish Trust (Luka and Aaron), and a couple other kokua.

All you really need to know is that the final 60+ fish or so that were donated from Loko Ea fishpond were 1) not for food or our own personal use 2) amazing and beautiful in size/shape/fishyness and most importantly 3) may very well be the mākua or kūpuna to several generations of mullet that will repopulate and hopefully revive many loko i’a on several islands.  While it was a simple and fun day, the effects and ramifications of our collective labor may be far-reaching, positive, rejuvenating, and hopefully tasty!

BTW, go volunteer at Mālama Loko Ea in Hale’iwa and no poach their fish!



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