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Fish-farming firm found at fault in diver’s death

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An Ewa Beach fish-farming operation has been found in violation of 19 safety and health requirements regarding the May 24 diving fatality of one of its employees, the state occupational safety office said today.

Jeffrey Barbieto, 41, a diver for Hukilau Foods, died while maintaining underwater fish-cultivation cages for the company off Ewa Beach. Barbierto was also a Honolulu firefighter.

The state citations are against Grove Farm Fish & Poi LLC, parent company of Hukilau Foods, which raises moi off Ewa Beach.

The state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations’ Hawaii Occupational Safety and Health Division completed its investigation of the incident, the department said Thursday.

The division concluded that Grove Farm Fish & Poi LLC violated 19 safety and health requirements, and proposed penalties totaling $50,050.

Grove Farm will have an opportunity to contest the citations and penalties, the state said.

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