Discover Ancient Fishponds

A Little Bit of HistoryOahu

Ancient Hawaiian fishponds are a good example of aquaculture at its finest.

Hawaiians are the only Polynesians known to harness the ocean’s bounty using brackish-water ponds near the ocean for stocking and harvesting fidsh. The system allowed Hawaiians to control algae, a major food source for fish.

During ancient times when the ponds were controlled by the ali‘i (chiefs), most of the fish were reserved for their consumption. Only a few of the 100 or so fishponds that once existed on O‘ahu remain today. HE‘EIA FISHPOND is an 88-acre brackish-water pond that was in use as late as the 1950s.

Farther north on Kamehameha Highway is HUILUA FISHPOND , located on the east side of Kahana Bay. The pond is a National Historic Landmark and is usually only visible at low tide.

MŌLI‘I FISHPOND , owned by Kualoa Ranch, is the only one that is still operational and commercially successful.

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