Mac Poepoe to receive Ho’okahiko Award for preserving Hawaiian traditions at Mo’omomi

Almost anyone who has enjoyed fishing or diving at Mo’omomi Bay knows Uncle Mac, as Mac Poepoe is known. In 1993, Mac and his wife Kamalu Poepoe founded Hui Mälama o Mo’omomi, a non-profit group that protects this sacred land and beach with the oversight of the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands.

Two years ago, Hui Malama starting publishing the Pono Fishing Calendar, designed to educate Molokai about sustainable fishing practices. For the calendar, and for his efforts over the years to protect Mo’omomi, Uncle Mac will be honored at the reef and ocean expo April 9 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m at Duke’s Waikiki.

Uncle Mac has been concerned about the overfishing of Mo’omomi for years. He sees this Hawaiian Home Land beach as Molokai’s ice box that needs to be managed in a traditional way so that it continues to thrive. The Pono Fishing Calendar uses the phases of the moon to dictate when to fish and when to let fish stocks replenish. The practice ensures ample supplies.

Mac Poepoe will receive the Ho’okahiko Award, established to honor those who pass on Hawaiian traditions. Poepoe is involved in outreach programs that teach Molokai youth about sustainable fishing practices. He has also taught youth diving classes at Mo’omomi.

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