The reefs along Maui’s coasts once provided an abundance of seafood (I’a) and limu, staples of the traditional Hawaiian diet. Prior to Western contact, Hawaiians had developed an intricate community-based system to sustainably harvest and manage their coastal and marine fisheries.
That community-based approach is the heart of the Community Managed Makai Area (CMMA), a new way of working to protect Maui’s marine resources based on traditional Hawaiian management practices.
Instead of waiting for our overstretched State government to “just take care of everything,” Maui’s CMMAs make it possible for communities to take the lead and provide solutions to sustainably manage their marine resources.
Maui’s Nine CMMAs
Maui has a network of 9 CMMAs working under the umbrella of the Maui Nui Makai Network to protect and restore healthy coastal and marine ecosystems for the people of Maui Nui using powerful place-based, collaborative strategies.
The community groups that form the Maui Nui Makai Network share one goal: to restore abundance to their ‘āina and kai (land and sea) by perpetuating the traditions of their kūpuna (elders, ancestors), thereby conveying their extraordinary cultural and natural legacy to future generations.
Topics may range from promoting pono fishing practices to ensure a sustainable source of food, to finding ways to reduce runoff pollution, to educating visitors about ways to snorkel or dive without causing harm to corals. The CMMAs work in concert with local and state governments to protect their marine resources.
This bottom-up approach works; it inspires more community members to do their part to make a difference and can build a stronger marine protection ethic in the community.
Kākoʻo Member for the Maui Nui Makai Network
Since its inception in 2013, Maui Nui Marine Resource Council has been a Kākoʻo member of the Maui Nui Makai Network. Kākoʻo members provide coordination and technical expertise, facilitation training, and financial support to the Maui Nui Makai Network, which allows the passion and commitment of the Alaka’i and Haumāna Members to drive everything forward.
Supported by Maui Nui Marine Resource Council and The Nature Conservancy
Maui Nui Marine Resource Council works in partnership with The Nature Conservancy to support the Maui Nui Makai Network and Maui’s six Community Managed Makai Areas. We provide training, attend meetings and offer financial support for specific projects.
The nine CMMAs that currently operate in Maui County:
Learn more about the Maui Nui Makai Network and their work here.
Learn more about Pono Fishing Practices
Before Western contact, Hawaiians had developed an intricate system to harvest and sustainably manage their coastal and marine fisheries. Learn more about these traditional fisheries management practices, a possible key to improving the current state of Maui’s fisheries.
Maui Fishing Regulations
Understand the laws regulating fishing on Maui.