Community – Hawaii

Hawaii Archipelago:

Community Participation & Management Structure

For the purposes of the Magnuson Stevens Act, each island in Hawaii is determined to be a fishing community.

The Hawaiian Archipelago comprises 132 islands, reefs and shoals, stretching 1,523 miles (2,451 kilometers) southeast to northwest across the Tropic of Cancer between 154 40′ to 178 25′ W longitude and 18 54′ to 28 15′ N latitude. The Hawaiian Islands has, approximately, a total land area of 6,425 square miles. One percent of the land area is made up of islands off the shores of the main islands, the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, from Kure Atoll in the North to Nihoa in the South, Palmyra Island, Midway and Wake Islands. The Hawaiian Islands extends over a vast area of the Pacific Ocean.

It is believed that the islands of the State of Hawaii were discovered and settled by Polynesians between the third and seventh centuries A.D. Captain James Cook, the first European to reach Hawaii, arrived in 1778. Europeans and Asians began to settle on the islands in the nineteenth century with the development of pineapple and sugar plantations. On January 16, 1893, the Hawaiian Kingdom was deposed and overthrown by a self-proclaimed “Committee of Safety,” made up of non-Hawaiian businessmen, planters and missionary descendants, with the complicity U.S. minister John L. Stevens. Minister Stevens caused the landing of U.S. Marines to support the overthrow and on January 17th the U.S. Minister recognized the proclamation of the Provisional Government (made up of members of the “Committee of Safety). The Provisional Government sought immediate annexation of Hawaii to the United States. Failing annexation, the Provisional Government proclaimed the Republic of Hawaii. On July 7, 1898, the Republic of Hawaii was annexed by joint Resolution, the Newlands Resolution, and the islands were ceded to the United States.

Hawaii’s electorate chose statehood over territory in August of 1959 and became the 50th State of the United States. 21% of the population of Hawaii is descended from the aboriginal people that occupied and exercised sovereignty, prior to 1778, in the area now known as the State of Hawaii.

Hawaii’s ethnic makeup was 22% Caucasian, 21% Hawaiian or part Hawaiian, 18% Japanese, 13% Filipino, 7.3% Hispanic (based on 1990 census), 3% Chinese, and 1% African-American; other ethnicities made up the balance. (However, Office of Hawaiian Affairs data reveals that a significant part of the population listed their ethnicity as “other/unknown.”) Hawaii’s population has been growing at the rate of 7% during the last decade of the 20th century, and was estimated to be 1,193,001 in 1998. The 2000 Census changed the way that race and ethnicities were reported and ethnic population numbers and ratios are impossible to determine. Statistically, people of Native Hawaiian ancestry have the lowest incomes and poorest health of any ethnic group in the State. Federal, state, and private programs have been established to benefit Hawaiians. There is also an active cultural renaissance among Native Hawaiians, with efforts to restore the language, arts, and subsistence activities, including traditional fishing practices. As part of this renaissance, Native Hawaiians continue to assert their rights of access to oceanic resources.

In the State of Hawaii, 73% of the entire population resides on O`ahu. O`ahu has only one county, the City and County of Honolulu. The Northwestern Hawaiian Islands and Kalaupapa, Moloka’i were under the jurisdiction of the City and County of Honolulu. The Northwestern Hawaiian Islands became the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument in June 2006 under 2006 Executive Order 8031. EO 8031 was amended by EO 8112 changing the name of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Marine Nartional Monument to the current name. The establishment of the NWHI monument is the largest taking of Hawaiian ceded lands in history. Submerged lands are lands under navigable waters of the State. Submerged lands are Ceded Lands in Hawaii. Ceded Lands are former Crown Lands that were appropriated by the Republic of Hawaii, successor to the Provisional Government of Hawaii that was recognized by US Minister Stevens after the overthrow of the Hawaiian Government in 1893. The Republic “ceded” the Crown lands to the United States. When Hawaii became a State the United States returned all but 400,000 acres of ceded lands to the State of Hawaii. The ceded lands are the bulk of the public lands inventory. The State of Hawaii is trustee of the ceded lands held in trust for the benefit of the Hawaiian people.

The eight major islands are Hawai`i, Maui, Moloka`i, Lana`i, Kaho`olawe, O`ahu, Kaua`i and Ni`ihau. With the majority of the population, seat of government, center of commerce, Harbor and military installations, O`ahu, called `The Gathering Place,` is the center of Hawaii.

The native Hawaiian community through the seventies and eighties, joined the civil rights movement and the anti-war movement and began to establish their own character and identity. The period of the seventies to the present is often called the “Hawaiian Renaissance” with renewed interest in Hawaiian culture, arts, language and history. Agencies and organizations to benefit native Hawaiians grew out of the new cultural awareness. Older agencies and organizations grew in participation and strength. The development of Hawaiian arts and sciences gave rise to educational and cultural opportunities. Expectations for the Hawaiian community have grown. A protracted discussion is developing as to what form of recognition is to be afforded to Hawaii’s national history.

Hawai`i’s economy is broad but the economic engine is tourism. Visitor numbers are more than seven times the resident population numbers annually, though there is an expectation of tourism downturn in the next decade. Hawai`i is a mature, fully developed tourist destination. Most recent State attempts at diversifying the economy is the development of High tech industries and venture capital infrastructure. With 3,220 commercial fishermen, the 2007 the total commercial fisheries catch reported was over 24 million pounds with the island of Oahu reporting 80% of the landings.