Hauanio Recieves Papahānaumokuākea Umu Kai Award
Clarence “Aku” Hauanio was presented with the Papahānaumokuākea Umu Kai Award on Aug. 4. The award was given to Hauanio for a lifetime of conservation management and education of Hawai’i’s keiki and adults in traditional Hawaiian fishing techniques.
Hauanio was presented the award at an evening reception in Hilo at the Mokupāpapa Discovery Center. The presentation included a 10-minute congratulatory video with friends, family, conservation leaders, and students touched by his efforts.
NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries Pacific Islands Region established the award, which is presented to a Native Hawaiian cultural practitioner who invokes the spirit of traditional fishing practices and management while adapting to modern fishing environments.
“It is an honor to present Uncle Aku with this special award,” said Athline Clark, NOAA superintendent for Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument.
The award was named after the traditional Hawaiian practice of enhancing fish habitat, honoring the legacy of the late Uncle Eddie Kaanaana, who is a Native Hawaiian cultural treasure and the first award recipient in 2006.
Hauanio is a fisherman, educator, and natural resource manager. He has inspired generations of fishers and natural resource managers throughout Hawai’i, according to award presenters, and has also educated people on the perpetuation of customary fishing technique like Kau Lā‘au, a traditional Hawaiian ulua fishing practice.
“A lifelong educator, Aku has shared his knowledge about the ocean’s vast resources with scientists and community members alike,” said Nākoa Goo, Mokupāpapa Discovery Center Program Coordinator. “Aku is a phenomenal waterman and a highly respected fisherman who practices and perpetuates the traditional wisdom and values, as Uncle Eddie did.”