Sustainable aquaculture explored through math at Mokauea fishpond

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By Milthon Lujan

Hawaii, USA.- A University of Hawaiʻi–West Oʻahu Mokauea fishpond research project received a $116,381 National Science Foundation grant. Associate Professor Esther Widiasih will research the workings of the Mokauea fishponds to gain insights into traditional Native Hawaiian sustainable aquaculture practices, viewed through contemporary scientific and mathematical lenses.

The research will utilize tools from statistics and applied mathematics while integrating ancient knowledge from Native Hawaiian cultural and fishpond practitioners.

Widiasih will be collecting water quality data and flow pattern of the fishpond to develop a mathematical model that captures the dynamics of key physical parameters and the fishpond circulation patterns. The investigation will include the development of a website to host and manage data collected along with other available data and studies on the Mokauea fishpond and its surrounding areas.

The Mokauea Fishermen’s Association was set up to preserve Mokauea Island and the surrounding fishery as a traditional Hawaiian fishing village. UH West Oʻahu’s involvement with Mokauea Island dates back several years and includes field studies during Ethnomathematics Summer Institutes.

Source: University of Hawaiʻi

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