Nā Papalimu O Pi‘ilani
Nā Papalimu O Pi‘ilani, the reef off Maui’s Lāhaina coastline at Polanui, was once known for its abundance of fish and edible limu (algae). These resources, carefully tended by kūpuna (elders), sustained Lāhaina families for generations.
But like other Hawaiian reefs adjacent to high population centers, it now shows signs of significant human impact associated with overharvesting, recreational use, sediment, and poor water quality. These stressors are contributing to the reef’s decline and consistently low fish populations. And as resources and habitats disappear, so do the roots, knowledge, and practices patiently acquired by Hawaiian people over generations.
That’s why Polanui Hiu, a local community group, is working to restore the resources and traditions once practiced along our shores. Our efforts are enhanced by laulima, kuleana, and other long-held values, and the strong community involvement the group is fortunate to enjoy.