Ma Kahana Ka ‘Ike: Lessons For Community-Based Fisheries Management
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Ma Kahana Ka ‘Ike: Lessons For Community-Based Fisheries Management

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    Indigenous and place-based communities worldwide have self-organized to develop effective local-level institutions to conserve biocultural diversity. How communities maintain and adapt these institutions over time offers lessons for fostering more balanced human–environment relationships—an increasingly critical need as centralized governance systems struggle to manage declining fisheries. In this study, we focus on one long-enduring case of local level fisheries management, in Kahana, on the most populated Hawaiian island of O‘ahu. We used a mixed-methods approach including in-depth interviews, archival research, and participation in community gatherings to understand how relationships with place and local governance have endured despite changes in land and sea tenure, and what lessons this case offers for other communities engaged in restoring local-level governance. We detail the changing role of konohiki (head fishermen) in modern times (1850–1965) when they were managing local fisheries, not just for local subsistence but for larger commercial harvests. We also highlight ways in which families are reclaiming their role as caretakers following decades of state mismanagement. Considerations for fisheries co-management emerging from this research include the importance of (1) understanding historical contexts for enhancing institutional fit, (2) enduring community leadership, (3) balancing rights and responsibilities, and (4) fostering community ability to manage coastal resources through both formal and informal processes.
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    Sustainability 2018, 10(10), 3799
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    CC BY
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