Last week, a joint project of Aloha Outdoors and Department of Land and Natural Resources opened the doors to a new portal of observation at the Molokini Marine Life Conservation District. This public viewing camera has been made available to the community for a multitude of reasons and has already proven to be very useful. With captains now able to see the surface conditions of the atoll, “this is a game changer”, commented Captain John McGinn. Besides the obvious safety benefits, the camera will be used to evaluate mooring usage and reporting as well as to monitor migration habits of the Great Frigate Bird known in Hawaii as the ‘Iwa, a sacred animal to many Hawaiians.
Unsurprisingly, the announcement inspired a wave of mixed reviews from those that use Molokini.
A local fisherman, who desired anonymity, stated when asked the question if he thought this was the right approach to managing Molokini Crater, “this is not right, we don’t need to be watched” adding, “the crater is always busy and the locals barely visit it anyway.”
While, on the other hand, veteran captain and master diver Andy Swanke of Mike Severns Diving complimented the effort as “a great way to get an understanding of Molokini over longer periods of time. Captain Andy went on to say “I support this project and hope that it will receive the respect that it deserves.”
Molokini Crater is a favorite spot for both tourist and locals. It has a colorful history and is an iconic feature of the Hawaiian Islands, both above the sea and below. It is definitely worth protecting.
As this project matures, more features will come online for public use. This simple panoramic camera is slated to provide 24/7 monitoring of the crater’s usage while also providing critical, live information streams for various purposes. The weather station will provide up to the second wind speed and direction as well as other data for real-time and historic uses.
Of course this isn’t all about surveillance, this is mostly about conservation. With the new secondary camera systems now online, this will provide the public with a breathtaking look at the gorgeous features of this unique place.
When the public is allowed to contribute to the conservation of a special place, people never cease to amaze in the creative ways that a beautiful resource can be preserved for the future generations”
“This is just really exciting! All the talk of telescopes and other expensive programs, I can seriously see a benefit to a camera on Molokini Crater.
Time will tell as to how the public view of this program will play out, but for now, in the view of this humble reported, it feels like a step in the right direction.