POSTED: 21 AUGUST 2006 - 8:30am HST

Kauai Shrimp Farm to dump in surfzone

aerial view: Kekaha shrimp farm along Kaumalii Highway. PMRF entrance at left edge of image.

WHO: Sunrise Capital Incorporated, 745 Fort Street, Honolulu, HI 96813

WHAT: The Dept. of Health approved dumping up to thirty million gallons of shrimp wastewater every day, directly over the beach into the surf. They OK’ed twenty thousand pounds of shrimp feces to be dumped in the surfzone daily. This waste will pass over the beach and go right into the nearshore water. All of this begins to happen on August 18, 2006 when the NPDES permit goes into affect.

WHERE: Dumping in Kaiwaiele Stream will affect West Kaua’i Kini Kini, Majors Bay and Family Housing beach areas. These are all very popular surfing and recreation areas.

GOOD NEWS: The shrimp farm was prohibited from dumping any chemicals into the ocean. No pesticides, growth hormones, antibiotics or chemical cleaners.

MORE GOOD NEWS: They are prohibited from having visible foam or floating solids. This is a great improvement from the previous operation.

STILL MORE SEMI GOOD NEWS: Since their waste discharge attracts both Galapagos and Tiger sharks into the surfzone, they must clean-up fish kills and warn surfers of the potential of shark attacks.

BAD NEWS: Why do we have to wait for the waste discharge with fish kills to reach the ocean? These should be constantly monitored and prevented from reaching the ocean, but that is not required. All that is required is that they report the fish kill, clean up after the fact and keep possibly us out of the ocean (Navy regulations close any beach that a shark has been reportedly sighted at for 24 hours after the reported shark sighting).

MORE BAD NEWS: Aside from the tens of thousands of pounds of gunk daily they will be permitted to discharge, they are also permitted to discharge the equivalent of around 200 bags of fertilizer daily into the surf.

It is a “correct-your-own-homework” type of monitoring, they only have to check the water monthly and quarterly and they can do it any time they want instead of during an obvious pollution or fish kill episode.

THE FUTURE: There is no reason why a shrimp farm should discharge its waste directly into the ocean. A shrimp farm can construct wetlands that can clean and treat the wastewater so it can flow to the beach with out harmful pollutants.

Adjacent wetlands that the shrimp waste water could be sent to can serve as wild life habitat for Hawai’i’s endangered species. These same wetlands can grow other fish (Tilapia) that clean the water can serve as human food and provide more employment opportunities for local residents. The wetland plants can be composted and used as fertilizer for agriculture operations. The fact that the Department of Health allowed them to do the dumping “quick-and-dirty” and that the Department of Agriculture/Aquaculture promotes cheap coastal dumping of wastewater at the expense of our beaches and ocean, Hawai’i’s greatest resource, is truly a tragedy.

Bruce Pleas
Phone (808) 337 9509, (808) 639 2850

Surfrider Foundation/Gordon LaBedz, MD, (808) 337 9977



Expanding West Kauai Shrimp Farm

20 May 2006 - 10:00pm HST

Shrimp farming enironmental problems as highlighted by

Application made for an NPDES Permit
WHO: Sunrise Capital Incorporated, 745 Fort Street, Honolulu, HI 96813

WHAT: Up to twenty five million gallons of shrimp wastewater proposed to be dumped in the ocean every day.

WHERE: Out Kaiwaiele Stream that will affect Kini Kini, Majors Bay and Family Housing beach areas.

WHY: The Sunrise Capital Company has requested an NPDES permit (National Pollution Discharge Elimination System) for their expanding West Kaua’i Shrimp Farm. The shrimp farm is proposed to have 44 acres of shrimp ponds which will dump up to 25 million gallons of shrimp wastewater into the ocean adjacent to Kini Kini Beach. There are proposed only two small holding ponds (.07 acres each) to clean the waste produced by all these tightly packed shrimp ponds (40 one acre ponds and 8 one-half acre ponds).

Shrimp farms are known to use many chemicals to limit disease in the animals and to keep control of excessive fish and shrimp populations in their sedimentation/conveyance canals that connect the shrimp ponds to the holding ponds. All of the concentrated shrimp excrement that is present in the wastewater has previously produced a lack of oxygen due to algae blooms in the drainage canal from the holding ponds to the ocean that has caused massive fish and shrimp kills with the dead fish and shrimp littering the beach from Kini Kini to as far as, and occasionally past, Majors Bay. The shrimp wastewater flowing out of the Kaiwaiele Stream also affects the ocean water quality with murky, sharky (smells like shrimp) water present from Kini Kini to past Majors Bay along with diminished ocean water quality down to and past the Family Housing area that is in the mixing area described in the NPDES permit.

Two local Westside environmentalists have objected to the NPDES permit and are requesting that it be denied and if it is not denied that a Public Hearing be held on the Westside of Kauai for concerned citizens to voice their opinion on this NPDES permit. The holding ponds are inadequate to filter the water before it reaches the ocean which results in a dangerous situation for surfers and ocean users at one of the most consistent winter surf breaks and a beach area used by residents of Kauai on the Westside of Kauai.

Information on the NPDES permit is available at the Kauai District Environmental Health Program Office located at 3040 Umi Street, Lihue, Kauai, 96766 or on the internet at Http:// under Public Notices, HI0021654 Sunrise Capital, Incorporated. Persons wishing to comment upon or object to the proposed draft NPDES permit or to request a public hearing, should submit their comments or requests in writing no later the 30 days (June 2, 2006) after the date of the notice (May 3, 2006), either in person or by mail, to Clean Water Branch, Environmental Management Division, State Department of Health, P.O. Box 3378, Honolulu, Hawaii, 96801-3378.


Bruce Pleas

phone: (808) 337-9509 or (808) 639-2850

Gordon LaBedz MD
phone: (808) 337-9977

Shrimp farming enironmental problems

During the past decade of shrimp farming, one of the major aquaculture industry, especially in Asia and South America region and it is projected to be one of the leading aquaculture industry in the world's future that has a very large domestic and foreign market demand. Shrimp farming environmental problems have been created in all farming locations resulting from the following factors:

1) Intensive shrimp farming management, a very high stock density within the ponds, up from 200,000 to 400,000 pieces of shrimp post larvae per hectare ponds (20-40 pieces/sqm) could produce several tons of organic wastes within one crop. When organic wastes accumulated within an environment, much organic wastes materials in their bodies are in the form of organic wastes compounds and those organic wastes can not be utilized by the phytoplankton through photosynthesis. These organic wastes compounds are quite stable, and does not have a tendency to break into simpler utilizable forms. Oxidation of these organic wastes compounds depletes the dissolved oxygen deep in the shrimp ponds bottom soils, and formation of toxic metabolites such as hydrogen sulfide, methane, ammonia, and nitrite, thus contributing greatly to the mortality rates of shrimp farming.

2) Availability of leftover feed and phytoplankton dead cells created the accumulation of undesirable organic wastes and toxic gases dissolved in shrimp pond bottom soils and in most cases, mortality occurs when the shrimp ponds bottom is polluted and deteriorated. When this occurs, shrimp ponds soil become acidic, damages gills (black or brown gills), burned and broken tails, zoothamnium, affected metabolism, incidence of blue shrimp syndrome (due to nutritional deficiency), molting process is disrupted (soft shell), and the onset of fouling, vibiosis and other virus diseases occurs, thereby causing mortality.

3)The congested number of shrimp ponds located in the same area of non-irrigation causes the easily eradicated disease problems, and became uncontrollable factors. The idea of culturing in a restricted environment and hoping for a good harvest has been one of man's endeavor since early days. However, the ecosystem existent in shrimp farming all over the world experiences the most recurrent problem…is how to get rid of the organic matters and organic wastes that has accumulated during the culture cycle and how to imporve the natural water resources before starting the new cycle. This problem have been approached by designing different types of ponds waste drains within the ponds system itself, filtration, aerators, air supplies, oxidation ponds or recirlulating ponds systems, yet no solution has yet been satisfactory today to correct the shrimp farming problem.

4) The fast expansion of shrimp farming numbers without the awareness of wastewater treatment, reckless uses of chemicals either disinfectant, pesticide, oxidizing agent or antibiotics have its negative impact on the recondition natural resouces of water supply and had destroyed the natural decomposing bacteria in ponds and natural benthic invertebrates to an unsuitable levels for aquatic culture.

IslandBreath: Kekaha Ceatech Shrimp Farm