Fisheries and Stewardship: Lessons from Native Hawaiian Aquaculture

Loko iʻa practice reflects a deep Indigenous understanding of the environmental, ecological and social processes specific to our islands.

Fisheries and Stewardship: Lessons from Native Hawaiian Aquaculture

By Brenda Asuncion, Miwa Tamanaha, Kevin K.J. Chang and Kim Moa

This article is the fourth in a series of articles published by NPQ, in partnership with First Nations Development Institute (First Nations), that lift up Native American voices to highlight issues concerning environmental justice in Indian Country and identify ways that philanthropy might more effectively support this work.

There are many lessons to be learned from Indigenous aquaculture practices, especially in the areas of climate mitigation, adaptation, resilience, resource management, and food sovereignty. Today, Native Hawaiians are working to reclaim physical spaces, improve resilience, and resurface Indigenous ways of knowing, observing, managing, and thriving in the Hawaiian island environment, drawing on practices that have been developed over many centuries.

One of the most isolated archipelagos on the planet, Hawaiʻi is about 2,500 miles away from any other place in the world. As the landscape’s spirit and history of our community are revived, so are the insightful and innovative practices of our Native Hawaiian ancestors. This knowledge, the lessons learned, and the people who practice them are stories of inspiration for our greater community and the global movement of Indigenous people and local communities of which they are a part.