Loko iʻa rehabilitation: Grounding learning in places that f - Event Details

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Loko iʻa rehabilitation: Grounding learning in places that f

Location: Wentworth 1


Lucas Mead, Director, Kumuola Marine Science Education Center, Kamehameha Schools Hawaiʻi


Loko iʻa (traditional Hawaiian fishpond systems) continue to function as
managed enclosures for the recruitment and grow-out of important food fish. Waiāhole
and Kapalaho are two of many loko iʻa located on the east side of Hawaiʻi Island that are
being rehabilitated in collaboration with student and community groups. The brackish
waters of these loko iʻa support two mullet species, the native ʻamaʻama (Mugil
cephalus) and the non-native invasive kanda (Osteomugil engeli), which are very similar
morphologically at sizes below ~6cm. Increasing densities of kanda within the loko iʻa
raise concern that competition for resources with the more desired ʻamaʻama could soon
become a problem if kanda populations continue to grow. Kamehameha Schools, in
collaboration with the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo, identified protocols for the
extraction of genetic material from the CO1 gene of juvenile fish recruits, which
successfully identifies the two mullet species at their smallest of sizes and allows us to
track their temporal recruitment into the loko iʻa by species. Currently, we are in the
process of translating these genetic protocols for the high-school classroom to engage our
learners in relevant science dealing with real contemporary challenges to their ʻāina
(lands). All are welcome!

For more information, contact: uhhtcbes@hawaii.edu (808) 932-7573

Tags: research Loko iʻa learning seminar Kumuola

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