POSTED: 22 SEPTEMBER 2008 - 9:00am HST

Maui ocean resources getting onto ferry

image above: Kauai opihi photo from
who export Opihi to Hawaii from Ireland

by Gary T. Kubota on 20 September 2008 in The Star Bulletin

Maui Mayor Charmaine Tavares said she was "gravely" worried about attempts to take prohibited resources from waters around the Valley Isle and bring them aboard the Hawaii Superferry.

" I am appalled by the reported amount of marine resources that are leaving our island with Superferry passengers," she said.

During a state oversight task force meeting yesterday, enforcement officers reported that in the first half of August, they found passengers trying to take aboard 63 pounds of opihi, 60 pounds of fish and 43 pounds of limu.

Tavares said in a written statement that she wants state agricultural and conservation officials to continue inspections beyond December.

State conservation enforcement officers have been assigned to work with Superferry employees to inspect passenger belongings through the end of December and to assist the task force in preparing a report.

The task force report is expected to be presented to the Legislature by January.
Tavares said state enforcement officers are needed to conduct the inspections.
" The years of education and training they bring to the operation cannot be replaced by a handful of hours of training that Superferry employees receive," she said.

State conservation enforcement official Randy Awo said there has been a rise in the volume of ocean resources that passengers have tried to bring aboard the Superferry, including fish, limu and opihi.

In response to Maui residents' concerns, a state executive order banned using the Superferry to transport many ocean resources.


[Editor's Note: For an ugly look under a rock check out the blogging on this subject by Oahu residents]

see also:
Island Breath: HSF Rapid Risk Assessment 9/13/08
Island Breath: HSF Task Force fails Maui 9/9/08
Island Breath: HSF Task Force Meets 1/17/08