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3rd Annual Keiki Fishing Tournament "Molokai Style"

June 29, 2013

This family-style keiki tournament held on Molokai was a great opportunity to support a good cause while doing a lot of barbless outreach to increase awareness of community respon- sibility with respect to protected species. The kids are our future and getting to them early is the key. The event was very successful as it was centrally held at the only harbor on the island just adjacent to the town. The organizers estimated the participation at 300 children. Aunties, uncles, parents, and grandparents were all there to cheer and help their keiki try to catch anything. Free entry and registration encouraged participation by all. Each child was issued their own prerigged bamboo poles, weigh-in buckets, and bait—all provided for free. They were encouraged to keep the bamboo poles for use in their next fishing adventure. Free lunch was provided while the results were tabulated. Throughout the tournament, sliced watermelon, snacks, and ice cold refreshments were shuttled along the shoreline to the kids and adults by the Moanalua High School Fisheries class who were on Molokai as part of their summer curriculum. The Moanalua students also provided fish weigh-in shuttle services and manned a gyotaku station where the tournament entrants could make and take home a free t-shirt decorated with a print they made themselves.

The catch-and-release tournament required everything to be weighed in live, making this an interesting proposition in some cases. Many different kinds of fish were caught. The largest was a moray eel which refused to stay in the little weigh-in bucket. Prizes were given to every one of the kids, but regardless of any catch everyone went home a winner in terms of gaining a little more precious family time together.