Publication Date



Open access

Embargo Period


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Marine Affairs and Policy (Marine)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

Sarah Meltzoff

Second Committee Member

Maria Estevanez

Third Committee Member

Juan Agar


In West Hawaii, marine management and the Hawaiian culture share common goals and ideals. However, the reasoning, beliefs and ethnic identities behind such goals greatly differ. As such, there is a lack of communication and even cooperation between groups. This paper seeks to understand the conflict and interactions between these groups and other interest groups involved with the aquarium trade. The area studied is in West Hawaii where the majority of fish in the state are caught for the aquarium trade (Walsh, 2014). The aquarium trade is analyzed to asses the extent in which social and Hawaiian cultural aspects are included in management and regulation. The analytical tool utilized was the levels of conflict model. This model utilizes three levels to better understand the complexity and root of a conflict. The three levels in order are the dispute, underlying conflict, and identity-based or deep-rooted conflict.


Hawaiian Culture; The Aquarium Trade; West Hawaii; Political Ecology; Levels of Conflict Model; Marine Management