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The ancient art of aquafarming

Yes, this year’s Global Gathering in Hawaii is going to be packed with cocktails, parties, music and celebrations galore, but sometimes you need to press pause and give a little back…

The Flight Centre Foundation aims to build a brighter future in the communities where we work live and travel​.

This year, The Flight Centre Foundation, in collaboration with Hawaiian Airlines, needs your help to restore the Huilua Fishponds which has a very important significance to many Hawaii communities. We need you to restore this historic landmark.

No we’re not talking about those little things in your back garden that seem like a great idea until you realise they need a lot of work…. we’re talking about a unique aquafarming practices of the Hawaiian people.

Huilua Fishpond, in Ahupuaa O Kahana State Park, Oʻahu; is one of only six surviving ancient Hawaiian fishponds (there were once 97) that were still operational well into the 20th century.

Many Hawaiian fishponds were built about 400-600 years ago for raising fish and maintaining a sustainable food supply for the growing population.

It’s suspected that fishponds may have started as a sandbar where ocean currents met the stream mouth. A 150m permeable rock seawall (kuapā) was added along the shoreline to enclose about 28,000 m2 of fertile brackish water.

The wall was about 1.2 m wide and stood about 1.2 m above high tide, with two lashed-pole gates (mākāhā) that allowed little fish in but kept bigger fish from escaping. The name Huilua, which can be translated ‘join-twice’, may refer to the two gates.

The Huilua Fishpond was declared a U.S. National Historic Landmark in 1962, shortly after it had been severely damaged by the 1960 tsunami and was added to the National Register of Historic Places on December 29, 1962.

In fact last 80 years have seen four tsunami’s hit the fishponds, and over time sand has continued to fill the pond while ‘islands’ of mangrove, hau, and bulrushes have become established.

A great deal of religious significance was, and still is, attached to Huilua and other fishponds. They played an important role in Hawaiian culture, and the preservation of the Hailua fishponds is vital. It serves as an ongoing tribute to the technological innovation of the early Hawaiians, who were the first people to develop true aquafarming in the Pacific.

What are you waiting for? Join us and give a little back to Hawaii.

Places are limited so register your interest by clicking here today.

About the Author
Becca is an avid traveller, a trained copywriter and one of Australia’s leading video marketers. As a creative content producer she’s pumped to be engaging, entertaining and intriguing the FCTG nations with written and visual communications in the run up to Global.