Growing Hawaii Agriculture

Posted on Apr 15, 2019 in Main

May 9, 2019

HDOA Deputy Glenn Muranaka did a “walk-and-talk” this week through some interesting aquatic research facilities.

The first stop was DLNR’s Division of Aquatic Resources’ Coral Restoration Nursery at the Anuenue Fisheries Research Center near Sand Island. The active coral nursery and archive facility raises rare corals under laboratory conditions to preserve the species in case of catastrophic events that impact Hawaii’s coral reefs. The nursery studies the growth of corals and can raise corals up to 10 times the growth rate of coral in the ocean. Their work may help to rebuild coral reefs faster than nature.

Coral Restoration Nursery at Anuenue Fisheries Research Center

The Coral Restoration Nursery maintains rare species of live coral as part of the Coral Reef Mitigation Bank, the first in the country

Coral nursery

Coral propagation table where coral larvae are collected

Also at Anuenue, Glenn toured the sea urchin culture facility which is being used to increase natural stocks of sea urchins in Kaneohe Bay. The sea urchins are being used as a natural control for invasive seaweeds which grow rapidly and smother corals in the bay.

Sea urchin grown in tanks  to combat invasive seaweeds in Kaneohe Bay

Baby sea urchin

Sea urchin grow tanks

In the afternoon, Glenn toured University of Hawaii’s Marine Center at Pier 35 in Honolulu Harbor.  UH maintains a fleet of research vessels; however, lack of funding has impacted the program’s ability to maintain a manned submersible.

Pisces IV – Manned underwater submersible

The tour continued to the Oceanic Institute in Waimanalo, which is now Hawaii Pacific University’s aquatic research facility. In the past, the facility has spawned and raise moi (Pacific threadfin) to be raised in off-shore pens.



April 15, 2019

Agricultural Learning Excursion by New Deputy Glenn K. Muranaka

HDOA Deputy to the Chairperson Glenn Muranaka traveled to Hawaii Island on April 13, 2019 for an agricultural learning excursion  led by KTA Executive Vice President Derek Kurisu.

Glenn visited Green Point Nurseries in Hilo and was impressed at what the Tanouye family has accomplished throughout the more than 60 years they have been in the floriculture business. Meeting with Green Point president Eric Tanouye, Glenn learned about the strong collaboration between the nursery and the University of Hawaii – College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR) in development of new varieties of anthuriums through cloning and tissue culture technology.

Glenn also saw the importance of strengthening support by HDOA by assisting the nursery industry through grants and encouraging legislative support so that Hawaii can remain an industry leader throughout the world.

Deputy Glenn Muranaka (center) visits Green Point Nurseries with Thong Teng Neo (left) and Eric Tanouye (right)

Green Point Packing Facility

Green Point Greenhouse


Also on the Hilo tour, Glenn visited the UH-Hilo’s College of Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resource Management (CAFNRM) at UH Hilo which prepares students for a broad and full understanding of basic factors involved in production, management, processing, distribution, marketing, sales, and services in the field of agricultural sciences.

Glenn met with Dr. Adrian Barnes, professor of their Aquaculture and Aquaponics Laboratory and Dean of CAFNRM and Dr. Bruce W. Matthews to discuss their programs and their insights on the future of ag as it relates to motivating our talented students. 

Dr. Barnes (left), Dean Matthews (center) of the College of Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resource Management

UH-Hilo Aquaponics Farm


UH-Hilo Aquaculture tanks

The Deputy also visited the Agricultural Farm Laboratory at UH-Hilo and was led on an amazing tour by Dr. Lorna Tsutsumi of the beekeeping facility. UH-Hilo’s Beekeeping Program offers a beekeeping certificate for students and it has a hands-on laboratory at its farm in Pana`ewa.

UH-Hilo Agricultural Farm Laboratory Bee Hive

Mahalo to Derek Kurisu for organizing these visits which will help to shape the future for agriculture in Hawaii.