In ancient times, ali`i (chiefs) were considered wealthy if they had fishponds within their ahupua`a (land division). In fact, the greater the number of fishponds, the wealthier the chief was considered to be. He had complete control of the entire system. If a fishpond needed to be repaired, the entire community was summoned to do their share of work.
Today, in an effort to grasp and hold on to the knowledge of Hawai`i’s elders yet progress in an innovative growing society, community organizations throughout the islands have been working with local communities to rebuild fishponds throughout Hawai`i. `Ao`ao O Na Loko I`a O Maui is a leader on Maui in fishpond restoration.