KAANAPALI - On Saturday, July 28, a community gathering and culinary contest will be held at Kahekili Beach Park starting at 9 a.m. to celebrate the third anniversary of the establishment of the Kahekili Herbivore Fisheries Management Area (KHFMA).
The KHFMA Birthday Bash will be a fun potluck/community event and educational opportunity. Learn about the KHFMA and how to get involved in some outreach, education and citizen science efforts to support it and its goal of maintaining and restoring marine resources in the area.
The event will include demonstrations of fishing gear, and participants will have the chance to try out throw netting and learn about this traditional fishing practice.
The KHFMA Birthday Bash will be a fun potluck and community event
Learn about what's legal and what is not in the KHFMA, and how to tell.
In addition, state Division of Aquatic Resources biologists will be conducting in-water reef tours at 11 a.m., noon and 1 p.m. Proficient snorkelers can bring gear and a buddy to join in and learn more about the reef and its inhabitants.
As part of this event, Kaanapali Makai Watch is holding the first-ever herbivore/KHFMA-themed culinary contest that will include several nontraditional categories.
The competition will be judged by a VIP guest panel consisting of chefs from The Westin Kaanapali Ocean Resort, Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa and Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua, as well as representatives from local conservation organizations and agencies.
The six categories are: best "herbivory/grazing" theme; best KHFMA general theme (coral reefs and marine life, conservation, fishing, etc.); most creative; "Science Geekiest;" best use of limu/seaweed; and best youth (under 18) entry.
There will be an additional prize awarded in an online judging contest, where Facebook users' votes on the Kaanapali Makai Watch Facebook page will determine the winner.
Those that enter their creations - pupu, entre or desserts welcome - by bringing them to Kahekili Beach Park by 9:30 a.m. will have the chance to win prizes donated by The Westin Kaanapali Ocean Resort; Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa; Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua; Trilogy Excursions; and Maui Sporting Goods.
This event will also support the Maui Food Bank and Ka Hale A Ke Ola Homeless Resource Center in Lahaina through a food drive and donations of prepared food. Attendees may bring nonperishable food items to the event in addition to their potluck or culinary contest contribution.
The KHFMA was established as a new type of Marine Managed Area on Maui. It is unique in that it is the first time that fisheries management has been used in an effort to save a reef in decline by protecting only the fish that eat algae (herbivores) and sea urchins to increase reef resilience. Fish feeding is prohibited.
Efforts have been underway to engage volunteers in outreach and citizen science efforts, inform the wider community in general, work more closely with the state Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement and study the fishing pressure on the area through a creel survey.
The Kaanapali Makai Watch program was established to support this priority site. It's currently funded by the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources and coordinated by the Division of Aquatic Resources, Coral Reef Alliance and Project S.E.A.-Link.
For more information, visit the Kaanapali Makai Watch's Facebook page or contact Liz Foote at 669-9062 or Lfoote@coral.org.