Fishing for Our Future With Lures From the Past

Kealoha and Kaleo measure the length of an ostracized Aku for the Fish Box science experiments. Recent calls for fishery management are ecosystem-based, or require considering the interactions of all species within a food web, thus it is important to know who is eating who. Pelagic fish caught and consumed on board will be analyzed by crewmembers by taking fin clip and stomach content samples. Fin clips will be used for DNA analysis to better understand the genetic make up of global fish stocks. Stomach contents will assist in our understanding of fish in marine food webs and the role human's play. Photo by Maui Tauotaha.

By Nahaku Kalei

As island people and Worldwide Voyage sailors, we have a close relationship with food from the sea. Along with being a healthy source of lean protein, fish caught on the Hōkūleʻa and Hikinalia canoes is one of the most low-impact food sources we can utilize because, unlike other foods which have been processed, transported, and loaded onboard, fresh fish has a zero-carbon footprint.

Our fisherman, Kekaimalu, crafted two traditional lures in the pa hi aku style—one named Kaiwikuamoo (whose stringer resembles a backbone and displays a dark green, almost black pattern), and the other named Kana (rootbeer-colored with a swirling stringer resembling the demi-god Kana who twists and turns). This style of lure is designed with stablizers to be trolled behind the canoe, imitating bait fish, and enticing delicious aku. Modern lures are usually made with an epoxy head, rubber skirt and double hooks. They utilize different colors for different fish, but like traditional lures, are designed to mimic the movement of prey fish.

Each day, as the eastern horizon begins to glow with its first light, Kekaimalu puts out two handlines—one from the stern of each hull. One line runs a traditional pa hi aku and the other runs —> Read More Here


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