Kohala Center News Release
The Kohala Center has received a grant from the Health Impact Project to study the potential health impacts of proposed regulations associated with a community-managed fishery policy for the Hawaiian Native Mo‘omomi Community-Based Subsistence Fishing Area on the north shore of Molokai.
State-level decision-makers are reviewing the current fishery management policy and will consider protections for traditional fishing practices. The Kohala Center’s health impact assessment (HIA) will examine how the proposed changes to the fishery management policy could affect health through its effect on diet, income, food security, and community cohesion for native Hawaiians on Molokai.
A recent study found that 40 percent of Molokai families’ food came from subsistence activities. The Ho‘olehua Hawaiian Homestead community on Molokai relies heavily for subsistence on the inshore marine resources of the Mo‘omomi fishery, which falls within a 12-mile stretch of coastline along Molokai’s north shore.
“This HIA seeks to provide evidence that will inform Hawaii’s decision-makers as they review and evaluate the current community-based subsistence fishing area (CBSFA) proposal for the Mo‘omomi fishery,” said Betsy Cole, chief operating officer for The Kohala Center.
“Our desired outcome is that the approved CBSFA proposal reflects a consideration of the differential health impacts of state-versus community-managed fisheries. The findings and recommendations of an HIA particular to the Mo‘omomi site will also provide valuable information to CBSFA proposals from other regions of the state where such proposals are being considered.”
The work engages community members with the assessment team, which includes staff and faculty from The Kohala Center, Sustainable Molokai, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, and Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.
The assessment is expected to be completed by October 2015.
The HIA was made possible by a grant from the Health Impact Project, a collaboration of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and The Pew Charitable Trusts dedicated to promoting the use of health impact assessments in the United States. More information and a searchable map of HIA activity in the United States are available at http://www.healthimpactproject.org.
Health Impact Assessments (HIAs) help identify and address the likely health benefits and risks of a decision made in a field outside the health sector. HIAs use a flexible approach that brings together public health expertise, scientific data, and input from community and other stakeholders to examine the potential health risks and benefits of key policy proposals. Based on the potential effects identified, HIAs provide practical recommendations to capitalize on opportunities to improve community health and to minimize any potential health risks.
About The Kohala Center
Founded in the year 2000, The Kohala Center (http://www.kohalacenter.org) is an independent, community-based center for research, conservation, and education. We turn research and traditional knowledge into action, so that communities in Hawai‘i and around the world can thrive—ecologically, economically, culturally, and socially.