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Posts Tagged ‘cultural rights’

From Shelley:

Aunty WalterBea shares stories of Mauikupua, the demi-god.

This weekend we hosted our fourth Environmental Justice Bus Tour–this time with an added stop at the Farmer’s Market.  Mahalo to everyone who came out to learn more about Wai`anae! We had a great mix of people hailing from far and wide.  Groups represented were Nakem Youth (from Kalihi), CEJE, Hawai`i Farm Union, the Hawai`i Independent, and the Lawai`a Action Network–as well as some community members.  Special shout out to Nakem Youth for blogging your reflections of the bus tour! Check it out! Here is some of their powerful testimony:

Mark: “We gotta change our public perception of Waianae. I didn’t know about the agricultural lands, it was beautiful to see and very different from the way the mainstream media presents it.”

Sonny: “I have family members who live in Waianae and I fear for their lives. There are many kids who run around and I don’t want them getting hit by trucks…”

Rochie: “I live in Waianae I didn’t know what was really happening.  The dumpsite was all blocked and I thought it was for housing development.  We need more transparency from these companies and the state.”

Powerful! More at their blog.  Mahalo to Nakem Youth member, Mark Fiesta, also for putting up such beautiful photos of the event. Here’s a link to his blog. Solidarity is a beautiful thing. 🙂 Mahalo to everyone for coming, if you are interested in joining our next tour, it is on August 28th.  Email shelley@kahea.org for more information.

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From Alana:

Too often loko i’a are talked about as things of the past, and somewhat obsolete. They are spoken of like memorials of a time past, a time when Hawaiians could essentially farm huge amounts of fish without even needing to feed them. But those days are over, right? No, they don’t have to be. 

On Saturday at He’eia fishpond in Kaneohe, a bunch of people got together to help fish some of the predators, like baracuda, out of the fishpond. He’eia is an estimated 800 years old. It is owned by Bishop Estate, and is cared for by  Paepae o He’eia, a private non-profit organization. It has taken them years to clear destructive mangrove trees off of about half the fishpond wall, and they are still working on fixing a hole in the wall, but they still manage to produce and sell moi. He’eia produces anywhere between 300 and 700 pounds of moi each year and that number is expected to increase when the wall is fixed and the fishpond is completely restored. About 100 years ago there were many more fishponds all around the island, but most of them have either been filled in completely with mangroves, or are in ruin. 

He’eia, though, is a beautiful example of how community effort can lead to something meaningful and productive. Although many fishponds are privately owned now, they could still serve as productive entities of society. He’eia and Moli’i on O’ahu both manage to. Hawaiian fishponds utilized a system that was not found anywhere else on the planet. It was probably the most efficient and sustainable way of raising herbivore fish ever. Fishponds are not the remnants of an ancient culture. Hawaiians are still here, and Hawaii can still benefit from fishponds.

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From Alana:

As a result of many letters being sent to state representatives, Rep. Mazie Hirono has decided to co-sponsor the “Offshore Aquaculture is not Fishing Act of 2009”. The bill asserts that under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the Secretary of Commerce, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and regional fishery management councils do not have the authority to permit or regulate the commercial ocean fish farming industry, because it is not fishing. 

The federal law that gives the Gulf Council and NOAA authority to regulate fish and fishing region-by-region was not intended to govern risky industrial enterprises like ocean fish farms.

This is a step in the right direction for the regulation of offshore aquaculture, which might soon happen in the Gulf of Mexico, and expand in places like Hawaii.

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From Alana:

From “Hawai’i has a lot to gain from open ocean aquaculture” in today’s Honolulu Advertiser:

Just as we need to be off imported oil, we need to be off imported seafood. This opportunity can be an economic engine for Hawai’i, and hundreds of millions of dollars are at stake.Let’s not stand in our own way. There’s  a lot to gain for everyone.

Absolutely.

The amount of seafood that we import is really astounding. It is upsetting, though, that in the wake of a very large aquaculture operation, which would export up to 90% of its ahi products, statements like the above, are used to defend it.

The article, by Jay Fidell of ThinkTech Hawaii, goes on to say that:

There are anti-aquaculture groups who don’t want “greedy” corportations to make a profit and export aquaculture products to outside markets. Those groups don’t acknowledge andvancements in the technology, and regularly diseminate disinformation about the industry. They’ve been pulling out all the stops, apparently bent on wiping out open ocean aquaculture in Hawai’i. Theyre’re completely wrong. Without open ocean aquaculture, Hawai’i would have to depend on foreign unregulated producers and overfished wild stocks. Those options are not nearly as secure or sustainable as the development of homegrown open ocean aquaculture.

I do not think of myself as entirely “anti-aquaculture”, I just think it should be done right. My cause is not to “diseminate disinformation”, it is to let people know that there are serious implications that multiple aquaculture ventures could have on Hawaii’s marine ecosystems. It is also to open peoples eyes to aquaculture in other parts of the world, and to how it has affected those places. This article makes it seem like there is some hidden agenda beneath fighting these giant open ocean aquaculture projects. But really, I have nothing to gain from this. I have neither read nor heard anything pro-open ocean aquaculture, aside from the people who would benefit direcly from it.

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From Kealoha Pisciotta, President of Mauna Kea Anaina Hou and one of KAHEA’s Board of Directors:

As a former telescope system specialist on Mauna Kea, I value both Polynesian and modern astronomy. Unfortunately, the West Hawaii Today editorial endorsing the Thirty Meter Telescope Board’s selection of Mauna Kea over Chile contained several inaccuracies—and one insult to Hawaiians.

Portraying modern astronomy as an extension of traditional Native Hawaiian star and navigational knowledge is inaccurate and obscures the fact that modern astronomy now threatens to displace traditional astronomy on Mauna Kea and the people who practice it there. Hawaiians use Mauna Kea’s high elevation landscape for ceremonies that contain star and other knowledge essential to modern Hawaiian voyaging, knowledge our ancestors used to discover thousands of tiny islands spread over ten million square miles of the vast Pacific Ocean, before the time of Christ and millennia before modern astronomy.

But the constant building of new telescopes has destroyed critical landmarks and obstructed essential view planes that reveal star paths and astronomical alignments. Too much of Mauna Kea’s landscape has already been leveled, and TMT plans to bulldoze more. Eventually, thousands of years of traditional knowledge codified in the landscape will be lost, and practitioners will no longer be able to keep the knowledge alive. With TMT may also come nighttime access restrictions to areas we now use for traditional astronomy. These are among the reasons Hawaiians urged the TMT Board to build in Chile, which their own analysis suggests will inflict less environmental and cultural damage.

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HONOLULU ADVERTISER, ENVIRONMENTAL NEWS WIRE REPORT ON CONTROVERSY

by Stewart:

KAHEA’s complaint asking a Hawaii court to require the state Department of Land and Natural Resources to follow state law concerning permits for the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands National Marine Monument has made news, as Hawaii’s largest newspaper and a national environmental wire service both published pieces on the matter today.

The news reports come two days after KAHEA filed its suit and a day after KAHEA presented its case to the Hawaii Board of Land and Natural Resources.  KAHEA has requested the board refrain from issuing new permits until the agency complies with the law; KAHEA has requested an administrative hearing on the issue.

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From Alana:

This week Mauna Kea was chosen as the site for the Thirty Meter Telescope. It was chosen over a location in the Chilean Atacama Desert. In the weeks prior to the decision, some people thought that Mauna Kea might not be chosen because of its significantly higher cost, but was anyone actually surprised when the Mauna Kea site was chosen? It is sad to see untouched, sacred land used for a telescope that could  be obsolete in a matter of years. In these job-hungry times the state should be focusing on creating jobs that invigorate the ‘aina, rather than destroy it. The ecological and cultural price might be even more than the price of building it…

More information on the Mauna Kea site: http://www.tmt.org/news/site-selection.htm

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