What is a Loko I’a?

A Loko I’a is a traditional Hawaiian fishpond that was used for the cultivation and management of fish. These fishponds were constructed by ancient Hawaiians as a means of sustaining a reliable source of food. The word “Loko I’a” means “fish pond” in Hawaiian.

Loko I’a were usually constructed near the coast, with a wall or barrier made of stones or coral reefs built to enclose a portion of the ocean. The water inside the enclosure would be kept at a controlled level, and the fish within the pond were fed and cared for by the community. Loko I’a were an important part of ancient Hawaiian culture and played a crucial role in the survival and prosperity of Hawaiian communities.

Today, many Loko I’a are being restored and are used for cultural and educational purposes, as well as for the cultivation and management of fish for commercial and personal use. They are an important part of Hawaii’s cultural heritage and are valued for their contributions to the sustainable use of natural resources.

Learn more about the Hawaiian Fishponds of Kula Kai

Kihei Wetlands and their associated fishponds
Kihei Wetlands and their associated Loko I’a fishponds