Training Set For Fish Monitoring In Bay

Jessica Goolsby
Wednesday - May 05, 2010
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There aren’t plenty of fish in the sea, according to a recent survey of near-shore areas across the state.

The survey showed that Maunalua Bay ranks lowest in overall numbers of fish - a statistic you can help to change by signing up for the next Makai Watch Volunteer Training program, scheduled for 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. May 22 and 23 at Hawaii Kai Library. The program is free, but space is limited.

The survey reveals that it takes more than two days to catch a papio, more than a day to snag an o’io and five hours to reel in an uhu in Maunalua Bay.


This steep decline in fish populations in recent decades is driven by pollution and sediment suffocating the reef, invasive alien algae displacing native species and harmful fishing practices.

The nonprofit Malama Maunalua intends to increase fish populations as it restores the health of the bay.

“Right now they (fish counts) are at the lowest point they’ve ever been in history (at Maunalua Bay), where it used to be one of the most abundant habitats for fish,” said coordinator Alika Winter.

“Makai Watch is a branch of Malama Maunalua that covers the ocean aspects,” Winter explained, “and in this training we do a lot of ocean monitoring so volunteers will learn juvenile fish identification, how to conduct benthic surveys, how to monitor salinity and temperature, how to recognize violations and general ocean stewardship.

“All that we ask is that once certified, our volunteers should offer their services at least a few hours a month to one or more of the projects we’re working on.”

The session also covers the history, geography and ecology of Maunalua Bay, the state of the fish resources and fishing regulations and enforcement.

For more information on the project or to register for training, call Winter at 561-8691 or e-mail him at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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