Picture obtained from, Pa'a Pono Miloli'i, check out their website.
History of The Meaning
The English word, fishermen, can be altered into the Hawaiian word, Lawai‘a.
In ancient Hawai‘i, many of the Hawaiians had an intimate relationship with the sea. Each of the eight Hawaiian Islands was surrounded by water. The sea was so essential because it had played a major part in the Hawaiian's daily life. Their ancestors had come to Hawai‘i by way of the sea, they traveled from island to island by way of sea, and the majority of their food supply came from the sea.
Early Hawaiians observed hunting and fishing seasons to preserve their resources. When the kapu was lifted, competition was fierce and in the case of fishermen, they had to travel far to find enough fish to feed their villages. Remote locations were dangerous, but sometimes necessary to travel to in order to find food. So fishermen from Kaua‘i would set out in their canoes to fish off the shores of Ni‘ihau.
In essence, this is why the lawai‘a, or fishermen, had shared such important roles with the sea. Of the villagers, they lived nearest to the sea. They would gather their equipment in silence, so as not disturb or offend the spirits or spoil their chances of a good catch. Also, while the lawai‘a would prepare for fishing, it was wrong for others to make noise, talk to them, or even watch their work. In fact, they were held in high positions and treated with great respect. Their position was known as an honored profession.