Massive Molasses Spill Kills Thousands of Fish in Hawaii

Around 1,400 tons of sugary liquid oozed out of a leaky pipe, smothering tropical fish, eels and crabs

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Dennis Oda / AP

Placido Shim holds up dead fish found in Honolulu Harbor after a molasses spill in Hawaii, Sept. 10, 2013.

The Hawaii Department of Health issued a press release on Monday that may have one of the strangest opening lines in any organization’s history: “The brown substance that is contaminating much of Honolulu Harbor and Keehi Lagoon and is the apparent cause of death for many marine animals, is molasses.” 1,400 tons of molasses to be exact. It oozed out of a pipe that normally connects storage tanks to ships, but thanks to a hole in the pipe’s side, it released a plume of the sticky, brown substance across the seabed, smothering thousands of tropical fish, eels and crabs in a sugary death.

Officials have warned locals to stay out of the water, as the thousands of fish carcasses may attract hungry sharks and barracuda. They also expect the yellowish-brown plume to stain the water for weeks. In the meantime, it looks like Hawaiians will have to get used to nightly news footage of sugar-coated fish, flexing their gills in distress and floating to the surface of Keehi Lagoon belly-up.

[Associated Press]

 

 

 

 

2 comments
KarenChun
KarenChun

Alexander & Baldwin, parent company of both Matson Shipping and HC&S who created the molasses has a 100+ year long record of environmental destruction.

For decades Maui residents have begged them to stop daily sugarcane field burning that fills schools and homes with smoke and gives Maui the 2nd highest asthma rate in the U.S.  (Tourists don't see that because the smoke doesn't reach Wailea and Lahaina and HC&S stops burning for 3 months during Xmas tourist season)

Their ag fields use Dirun which runs off into the ocean and has almost completely killed some of the reefs.

They've poisoned the aquifers under their fields with ag chemicals

They've bought our Legislature and are exempt from "best practices"

They operate a 1952 coal plant with NO continuous monitoring whose (nonexistent) pollution control is grandfathered in. The pollution from this drifts down on our predominantly local, poorer children in Kahului.

Please google "Alexander & Baldwin - Stop Destroying Hawaii's Environment" and SIGN THE PETITION.  

Taxpayers should not be paying for A&B's greed!