Unit 5 – Marine Management
Since the time of the early Hawaiians, people have been making rules governing the use of the ocean and marine life. Some of these are designed to protect species that are threatened by human actions or that are important to humans but declining in numbers. This unit introduces students to some efforts underway to provide scientific data for use in reef and fishery management. They also learn about some of the ways in which people attempt to protect and restore populations of endangered marine species and design a study to provide more information about changes in fish abundance in the ʻĀhihi-Kīnaʻu Natural Area Reserve.
Length of Entire Unit
Activities in this unit
Students play a game to learn about Hawaiian reef animals and regulations intended to protect them.
Students read a study on the impact of aquarium fish collecting and interpret data from that study.
Using research design principles learned from the aquarium fish-collecting study, students design their own marine-monitoring study.
Students undertake research projects on marine-management topics of their choosing.
Three class periods, plus optional in-class time for work on study design (Activity #3) and research projects and presentations (Activity #4).
Unit Focus Questions
1. What are some distinguishing biological and behavioral characteristics of Hawaiian reef animals that are gathered or fished for by people?
2. What are the potential impacts of collecting aquarium fish from Hawaiian reefs?
3. How do scientists conduct studies to monitor and assess these types of impacts?
4. What are some approaches to protecting Hawaiian marine species?
Science-based management. Conservation. Current issues in marine management.
Since the time of the early Hawaiians, people have been making rules governing the use of the ocean and marine life. This unit helps students explore the types of rules used for conserving marine species and habitats as well as how science can contribute to making these rules.
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• Obtain copies of current Hawaiʻi state fishing regulations and find out whether fishing regulations have changed for any of the species in the “Weren’t There More of Us?” game. Fishing regulations are available from the Hawaiʻi Department of Land and Natural Resources, Division of Aquatic Resources.
• Download and print descriptions of threatened and endangered Hawaiian marine animals from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service website at. (These marine animals include the Hawaiian monk seal, green sea turtle, and hawksbill sea turtle.) Students work in small groups to develop a short presentation on threatened and endangered marine species in Hawaiʻi. As a starting point, identify patterns and similarities among these threatened and endangered species: the similarities could be habitat, threats, distribution, conservation efforts, etc. Students can draw parts of their presentations on a map of the Hawaiian Islands, if they wish.
• Create a report that summarizes the key findings of the aquarium collection impact study in a popularly accessible, educational format. Students may include photos, graphs, and other graphics to augment the text of the report and make it visually appealing.
• Research whether there has been additional research done on the impacts of aquarium fish collecting on Hawaiian coral reef communities since Brian Tissot and Leon Hallacher completed their study in September 1999.
• Research what Fish Replenishment Areas and Regional Fishery Management Areas are under Hawaiʻi state law. The Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Aquatic Resources is a good starting point for this research. Find out whether and where these protected areas exist on Maui. If none exist, research whether any have been proposed and why they have not been created.
• Research the traditional Hawaiian kapu system that was used to govern when and where fishing was allowed. Compare to today’s approach to managing fisheries.
Resources for Further Reading
Earth Trust, online curriculum about Hawaiʻi endangered species.
Coral Reef Network provides information about marine protected areas in Hawaiʻi.
Beach Environmental Awareness Campaign Hawaii (B.E.A.C.H.) is an all volunteer non-profit organization that brings awareness and solutions to the problem of marine debris. URL: http://www.b-e-a-c-h.org/education.html