Tip: Learn where you can tee off from the top of Kilauea Volcano.

 Currently: Oahu What to See Sightseeing › Articles

Hawaiian Fishponds

Ancient Hawaiian fishponds are a good example of aquaculture at its finest. Only a few of the 100 or so that once existed on Oahu still remain. One, owned by Kualoa Ranch, is still operational.

Hawaiians are the only Polynesians known to harness the ocean's bounty using brackish water

ponds near the ocean for stocking and harvesting fish, and controlling their main food source, algae. During ancient times when the ponds were controlled by the ali'i (chiefs), most of the fish was reserved for their consumption. If a chief's land had ample fishponds, it was known as 'aina momona, fat or sweet lands.

Hawaiians used two types of ponds - inshore and offshore. Brackish groundwater, flowing seaward through the porous lava rock, filled depressions in the rock, creating a unique habitat found nowhere else in the United States. Open-sea ponds were artificially enclosed with rock walls (kuapu), and had sluice gates, called makaha, that connected the pond to the sea.

He'eia Fishpond, an 88-acre, brackish water pond that was in use as late as the 1950s, is located near He'eia State Park on Oahu's windward coast. A good view of the pond is available from the park. Another picturesque pond is further north on Kamehameha Highway. Kahalu'u Pond features a 1,200-foot long wall planted with coconut trees and is best viewed from the Pineapple Hut souvenir shop.

The Moli'i Fishpond is the only one still operational and commercially successful. The pond, which is owned by the Kualoa Ranch, is divided into two sections, and three makaha connect it to Kaneohe Bay. Fish cultivated in the pond are sold to local markets.

Further north, on Kamehameha Highway, is the Huilua Fishpond, located on the east side of the massive Kahana Bay. The pond is a National Historic Landmark and is usually only visible at low tide due to poor upkeep.

Articles Related to This One
Shop for
Package type:
Departing from:
Depart:
 
Going to:
Return:
 
Adults:
Seniors:
Children:
Search for packages
More package search options from Expedia
Going to:
Arrive:  
Return:  
Adults:
Seniors:
Children:
Search for packages
More Package search options from Expedia
Departing from:
Depart:
 
Going to:
Return:
 
Adults:
Seniors:
Children:
Search for flights
More flight search options from Expedia
Search for hotels in:
Check-in: Check-out:
Rooms:
Adults:
Children:
  Adults:
Children:
  Adults:
Children:
Search for hotels
More hotel search options from Expedia
Pick-up location:
Pick-up:
Drop-off:
Car class:
Search for cars
More car search options from Expedia
Select a top destination:
Departing in:
Cruise length:
Search for cruises
More cruise search options from Expedia
Destination:
Start date:
End date:
Search for activities
More activity search options from Expedia
Current Specials - Oahu
  • $799+ Moana Surfrider - A Westin Resort & Spa: 3 nights w/air. Includes FREE Hertz mid-size rental, daily breakfast, mai tais daily & More!
  • Touch, Swim with, and even Kiss a Dolphin!
  • Waikiki's best value, Maile Sky Court - $113
  • $645+ Hilton Hawaiian Village® Waikiki Beach Resort: 3 Nights with Air. Includes FREE midsize car PLUS kids 18 & under stay free!
  • Vacation Memory of a Lifetime: Family Swim at Dolphin Quest Hawaii or Oahu
  • Kids Aquatic Adventure at Dolphin Quest Oahu from $275
  • From $1,245 - 9 Nights Island Hopping: Oahu, Kauai & Maui w/Air, Hotel & Breakfast. Spend 3 Nights in each island.
  • Breathtaking views at Honolulu's tallest hotel, Aqua Skyline at Island Colony - just $89
  • DoubleTree by Hilton Alana Waikiki Hotel - $249
  • Enjoy a Dolphin Duo package for 2 at Dolphin Quest Oahu
More of our Current Specials on Oahu
Packages

Hawaiian Airlines: Special Offers
Hot Clicks - All Islands
  • Kaanapali Beach Hotel - 4 night Best of the Beach package just $1385
  • $559+ Hawaii 3-Night Vacations with Air – FREE Hertz mid-size rental!
  • Swim with dolphins without the crowds!