Haena, Kauai (Photo by Michael Zimmerman)
Haena, Kauai (Photo by Michael Zimmerman)
Haena, Kauai (Photo by Michael Zimmerman)

HONOLULU – The state Board of Land and Natural Resources (BLNR) unanimously approved Hawaii’s first ever Community Based Fisheries Subsistence Area (CBFSA) rule package for Haena on the island of Kauai.  BLNR Chairperson William Alia said, “This is an historic action, following years of work by the Haena community in collaboration with Dept. of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) staff.

This rules package gives the Haena hui an opportunity to protect its fisheries, based on traditional and customary practices. Native Hawaiians knew how to practice sustainability in order to feed their ohanas. This is strong recognition by government that we cannot do it alone and community-based management and buy-in is critical to sustaining Hawaii’s precious natural resources for now and future generations.”

The community worked hand-in-hand with the DLNR Division of Aquatic Resources (DAR) to develop this rules package. DAR administrator Frazer McGilvray said, The CBFSA sets the precedent for other communities across the state to self-determine what’s best for their local areas based on long-held sustainability practices. Community based management isn’t only the past, but is now the future.”

A hearing on Oct. 3, 2014 at Haena was attended by hundreds of people. Dozens of people testified before the BLNR today and there was overwhelming support.Erin Zanre, the CBFSA planned for DAR called today’s decision, “Epic”.

She explained, “This decision reflects the hard work and commitment of the Haena community and is the result of a decade long effort.  Haena sets a great example for how communities and DLNR can collaborate to better manage resources. Haena has paved the way and we hope the process for other communities won’t be as long and arduous”

Implementation of the CBFSA rules package is pending adjudication of a contested case. All future CBFSA designations require approval from the BLNR.

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