Last month, fishpond practitioners from the Hui Mālama Loko Iʻa Network gathered in Punaluʻu, Oʻahu with researchers and students from UH-Mānoa for a tide gauge workshop that blended culture, environment and technology in the interest of loko iʻa across the paeʻāina.
The three-day workshop organized by KUA in partnership with UH-Mānoa associate professor of oceanography Brian Glazer, brought together representatives from 18 loko i’a from across the state who learned about the latest advances in oceanographic sensor technologies developed by Glazer and his team of graduate students and collaborators at the School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST) at UH-Mānoa.
In addition to building their own low-cost do-it-yourself wireless tide gauges, workshop participants also visited Heʻeia Fishpond to talk with local kiaʻi loko (fishpond guardians and caretakers) about traditional measures of fishpond health and to see the new technology in action.
Glazer and his team continue to work with these sites to ensure the sensor devices built during the workshop are installed at each of the ponds represented and data are collected properly.
The hope is that continued partnerships between researchers and practitioners such as these will help to inform local coastal communities and researchers alike about the restoration and maintenance of loko iʻa across the state.