Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: Hawaii
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

Hawaii Project

Assessing fish habitat and population dynamics of fisheries resources at Kaloko Fishpond

September 2019 - September 2021


Participating Agencies

  • National Park Service
Wall of a Hawaiian fishpond similar to that seen at Kaloko Fishpond.

Throughout Hawaiʻi, fishponds are considered by their local communities as important cultural touchstones, a source of local, sustainably produced food, and an important component to the development of community-based management for nearshore fisheries. Within Kaloko Honokōhau National Historic Park (KAHO) the restoration of Kaloko Fishpond for traditional aquaculture management is an immediate goal of both the National Park Service (NPS) and an eager, dedicated community group. However, existing data on the demographics and condition of the fish populations within the pond, and the fish-habitat quality are poor to non-existent. Furthermore, the combination of gaps in traditional knowledge and Hawaiʻi’s significantly altered environmental conditions have made initiating sustainable fishpond management based on the traditional methods established prior to European contact challenging. Therefore, an understanding of the ecology of Kaloko Fishpond, particularly as it pertains to the population dynamics of its fish species, is critical to adapting traditional pond management practices to respond to already altered and continually changing environmental conditions. Grounding these practices in defensible science and traditional knowledge is necessary to move forward with the restoration and traditional management of Kaloko Fishpond.