photo: Bert Weeks III

You have questions… we have answers!

What is Holomua Marine 30×30?

The community-driven effort, led by the Hawai‘i Department of Land and Natural Resources’ Division of Aquatic Resources (DAR), will result in a comprehensive strategy to effectively manage our marine resources with at least 30% of each island’s nearshore waters established as a network of marine management areas (MMA) by 2030.

What is the goal of Holomua Marine 30×30?

The aim of Holomua Marine 30×30 is to ensure healthy nearshore ecosystems with abundant resources, so that the people of Hawai‘i can enjoy our coastal waters, support livelihoods, and feed our families.

How did the Holomua Marine 30×30 effort start?

In 2016, the State of Hawai‘i launched the Sustainable Hawai‘i Initiative to protect our natural resources, promote sustainability, and increase Hawai‘i’s self-sufficiency.

Who is leading Holomua Marine 30×30?

Holomua is a community-driven effort led by the Hawai‘i Department of Land and Natural Resources’ (DLNR) Division of Aquatic Resources. As a member of the community and as part of specific ocean user groups, you can guide the design of your island’s marine management area (MMA) network, as well as the future health and use of Hawai‘i’s nearshore waters and its resources.

How is the Holomua Marine 30×30 Initiative being funded?

Funding source document needs to be updated, new 2021-2022 budget is out and we uploaded the new version HERE.

What is a Marine Management Area?

A marine management area, or MMA, is a place in the ocean that is managed in a way to protect the ecologically or culturally important marine resources within its boundaries.

Will existing MMAs be included within the 30%?

Marine management areas located in marine or estuarine (brackish) waters that are legally designated in Hawai‘i state law or statute and have designated marine resource regulation within their boundaries will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Each island’s Navigation team will determine whether the existing MMAs should contribute to the island network as they currently exist, with recommended changes or excluded entirely.

Why do we need to manage our nearshore waters?

We need to manage our nearshore waters to restore and sustain Hawaiʻi’s marine ecosystems and biocultural resources. Our marine habitats are under pressure from a growing population, development, unsustainable harvest, climate change and more. The loss of traditional practices magnifies the decline. A recent scientific analysis revealed population declines of some of our favorite reef fish by as much as 75%, and the mass bleaching event in 2015 resulted in up to 50% coral mortality on some reefs.

What is place-based planning?

Place-based planning is a way of managing specific geographic areas by collaborating with communities of that place to understand the unique and diverse values, uses and experiences tied to the area. Through Holomua Marine 30×30, DAR will engage with local communities on each island, along with scientific and cultural experts in an inclusive, transparent way that will help the people of Hawai‘i achieve effective management of our nearshore waters for healthy reefs, fish, and communities. DAR will collaborate with communities to evaluate existing marine management areas (MMAs), as well as plan and design new MMAs that will comprise a network of at least 30% of nearshore waters around each main Hawaiian island.

How will the Holomua initiative incorporate social and cultural values or factors?

The Holomua Marine 30×30 community-driven effort will be guided by nine socio-cultural principles throughout the MMA network design and evaluation process to minimize potential negative impacts of MMAs on local and indigenous communities. Socio-cultural principles will be used to evaluate existing MMAs as well as identify potential areas for management based on social and cultural factors. The socio-cultural principles developed fall under four categories that include: Place-based Knowledge and Education; Physical, Mental, and Spiritual Wellbeing; Community Relationships, Engagement, and Commitment; and Efficacy and Equitable Governance. Read more about the socio-cultural design principles here.

How will current scientific research guide the Holomua initiative and planning process?

The Holomua Marine 30×30 community-driven effort will incorporate seven categories of ecological design principles into the process for reviewing existing MMAs and establishing new ones to achieve the best possible management outcomes. These design principles, developed by DAR biologists in collaboration with other researchers and other experts, are scientific guidelines which take into account key biophysical processes (including resilience to climate change), and will be used along with the socio-cultural design principles to guide the design of MMA networks. Read more about the ecological design principles here.

Are there local examples in Hawai‘i of successful marine management areas?

Yes, we are fortunate to have several local examples that show marine management areas work when effectively designed and managed. Kahekili Herbivore Fisheries Management Area (KHFMA) on Maui is one example where the take of herbivore fish is prohibited but other fishing is allowed, and fisheries are now thriving through effective management. Within nine years of its implementation in 2009, the number of herbivores had dramatically increased, such as surgeonfishes ( up 71%) and parrotfishes ( up 331%).

What kind of data are being used to support this initiative?

To begin working towards place-based management, DAR gathered existing statewide data on biological resources, such as nearshore habitats and fisheries, the threats to them, and important human uses such as fishing and recreation. In addition to DAR monitoring data, recent surveys confirm that members of our community have also observed declines over the past several decades in many nearshore places, and perceive these changes will get worse if we don’t take action soon. “Effective management” is not possible based on scientific data alone. We need information from people on each island to identify locally-important resources and provide ideas about what kind of management strategies would work well for each area.

How will DAR monitor the effectiveness of these island networks?

To continue to fill data gaps and ensure coordinated data collection and reporting, DAR will create a comprehensive, standardized statewide monitoring plan that will examine ecological responses as well as social and cultural impacts as a result of this initiative to allow for informed and adaptive management.

Who decides which areas are included in the 30% island networks?

The Holomua initiative will be moving forward with planning and creating place-based MMA networks island by island. Each island is unique and requires different management strategies, which is why we are focusing on each island individually to expedite the rule-making process as well. Holomua planning will be starting with Maui first in the fall of 2022. There will be several opportunities for everyone to participate in and contribute to the planning process for your island, including talk story sessions, online forms, participating in the Navigation Team and attending public scoping meetings. Please sign up for our quarterly newsletter, follow our social media accounts, or visit the website for the latest updates.

Have a question we haven’t answered?

ʻAʻohe hana nui ke alu ʻia.

No task is too big when done together by all.

– Mary Kawena Pukui, ʻŌlelo Noʻeau #142

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