The Pacific Ocean harbors an incredible range of aquatic habitats
and unique species; many of these are important sources of food and are
under increasing pressure from fisheries and habitat degradation. Several of the species found in the Pacific Ocean have a very localized distribution, and so are especially prone to threats from environmental degradation or overfishing. In order to preserve these resources for future generations, conservation of both fish populations and their aquatic habitat is vital.
The early Hawaiians used several conservation methods to ensure the availability of seafood. These included aquaculture in man-made fishponds, restrictions on harvest of certain species, and areas closed to fishing. Today, Hawaii continues these traditions with conservation laws, marine protected areas, and aquaculture of both food and ornamental species. Exhibits such as Hawaiian Fishponds, Ornamental Aquaculture, Fisheries Management, and Marine Protected Areas, illustrate some of these strategies.
Many of Hawaii's fresh and brackish water animals are threatened by altered habitats and invasive species. Our exhibits highlight Hawaii's endemic freshwater stream fishes and shrimps, and show the effects of introduced/ invasive species on these sensitive ecosystems and habitats.