Marine Managed Areas
As an island archipelago, Hawai‘i is particularly dependent on a healthy marine ecosystem. Protecting this precious resource through marine management is critical to sustaining livelihoods, protecting biodiversity, and preventing economic loss. Fishing and tourism are at the heart of Hawai‘i’s coastal economy, so ensuring that these industries are managed sustainably is crucial to the vitality of Hawai‘i’s oceans and to ensure that future generations continue to benefit from these resources.
Active marine management is defined as a protective designation that limits marine use and protects more than one species within the designated area. Approximately 3.4% of oceans are protected globally. As of January 2016, 13.1% of Hawai‘i’s marine waters are under active management. According to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature's World Parks Congress Report (Sydney, 2014), scientists recommend at least 30% of the world’s oceans be designated as marine parks. In response, Governor Ige announced the bold 2016 IUCN Legacy Commitment at the State level to effectively manage 30% of Hawai‘i’s nearshore
waters by 2030 (30x30).
Figure 1: Highlights marine managed designations in the main 8 Hawaiian Islands*
*The geographic focus of this goal is the main Hawaiian Islands. However, one of the largest protected areas in the world is Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument, located in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands.
From restricted fishing areas to community based management, there are a wide range of established designated marine areas in Hawaii (Figure 1). A highlight of these designated areas is the community-based subsistence fishing areas (CBSFA) for Ha‘ena on North Shore, Kaua‘i. This community-based designated area has established prohibited activities that are now listed in the Hawaii Administrative Rules. CBSFA designation reinforces the Hawaiian values of aloha ‘āina, which emphasizes the connection between the environment and communities. If you care for the land, the land will care for you. (DAR 2014).
Marine waters under active management is a good high level indicator, but other factors such as ocean water quality, marine economy, and ocean health are also needed to represent how we are doing. The following outlines the status of these factors.
HAWAIʻI'S OCEAN HEALTH INDEX
BROWN WATER DAYS
The activities along the shoreline contribute directly to the quality of the marine environment. Coastal waters may become polluted from flood waters and storm water runoff that could contain any combination of matter from overflowing cesspools, pesticides, animal fecal matter, dead animals, chemicals, and associated flood debris (DOH). Polluted waters, which threaten human health, marine life, and have significant economic consequences, can be tracked by the number of days with brown water advisories. Brown water runoff can be reduced through natural resource management further defined in watershed management and freshwater security. In 2016 Hawai‘i had a total of 38 brown water advisory days.
Figure 3: Number of Brown Water Days
100,000 EMPLOYED IN TOURISM & RECREATION
The ocean economy represents almost 20% of the total economy in Hawai‘i according to the Economics National Ocean Watch (ENOW), a report produced by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Office for Coastal Management that outlines six ocean dependent economic sectors annually. In 2013, the tourism and recreation sector consisted of 90% of employment in ocean dependent jobs. To track ocean economy metrics visit ENOW Explorer.
Learn More and Make a Difference
What You Can Do
- Attend a beach clean up! Events available here: http://sustainablecoastlineshawaii.org/, http://www.808cleanups.org/, and https://www.surfrider.org/
- Tips on protecting our marine environment: http://dlnr.hawaii.gov/dobor/boating-in-hawaii/protecting-our-marine-environment/
- Find sites to volunteer, intern, research, or learn with the Conservation Connections app: http://www.conservationconnections.org/
- Explore the Ocean Health Index , a valuable tool for the on-going assessment of ocean health: http://www.oceanhealthindex.org/
- Learn more about marine species and habitats at the State of Hawaii Division of Aquatic Resources website: http://dlnr.hawaii.gov/dar/
- Learn about the Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage as a traditional Polynesian canoe travels around the world’s oceans: http://www.hokulea.com/worldwide-voyage/
- Learn about Maui’s coral recovery plan: http://www.mnmrc.com/maui-coral-reef-recovery-plan2/
- Department of Aquatic Resources (DAR) fishing regulations for each county: http://dlnr.hawaii.gov/dar/fishing/fishing-regulations/