Hawaiian Fishponds of Molokai
Name: Molokai Ancient Hawaiian Fishponds
What: Historic Hawaiian fishponds dating back to the early 13th century
- Where: Along the south shore between Kaunakakai and Mile Marker 13
One of the Hawaiians’ greatest engineering innovations was their use of aquaculture, namely stone and coral fishponds. Molokai has many of these well-preserved fishponds located along its southern coast, most built 700-800 years ago.
The semicircular walls of the ponds were made from lava boulders and coral that would keep the fish inside while allowing the seawater to ebb in and out. During this time period only royal Hawaiian alii (chiefs) were permitted to eat the fish harvested from these ponds. You'll find the most extensive examples of their ingenuity scalloped along 32 kilometres off Molokai's south and southeastern shores, where more than 60 fishponds were once in use.
Stop half a mile before One Alii Beach Park to see Alii fishpond, once reserved for royalty. This historic site is easily accessible and is a fine example of Molokai’s fishponds. Continue down Kamehameha V Highway east from Kaunakakai to see two fishponds that have been designated national historical landmarks: Keawanui and Ualapue Fishponds. These two ponds are unmarked and can be difficult to find so please contact the Destination Molokai Visitors Bureau for detailed directions.