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‘Substantial injuries’ seen in aquatic species following molasses spill, state official says

  • GEORGE F. LEE / GLEE@STARADVERTISER.COM
    Frazer McGilvray, administrator for the Division of Aquatic Resources, was on hand as crewmen from Sea Engineering Inc. and divers from AECOS Inc. aboard the Huki Pono prepared this morning to cast off from Pier 26 in Honolulu Harbor. They will be doing follow-up surveys of the surrounding waters and harbor bottom for lasting effects of the recent molassas spill.
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One month after 233,000 gallons of molasses spilled into Honolulu Harbor, Department of Land and Natural Resources officials continue to survey the full scope of damage to the coral, fish and other marine life in the waters there.

"We know that there’s significant numbers of dead coral down there," Frazer McGilvray, administrator for the Division of Aquatic Resources, said this morning "What we’ve seen is substantial injuries to corals of various species below the water." 

McGilvray did not have estimates on the total area damaged or the extent of the coral damaged. How long DLNR’s assessment will take depends on what the diving teams they’ve contracted find below the surface.

And whether the coral will recover depends on the "ecological conditions moving forward" in the harbor and Keehi Lagoon, McGilvray said. "Different species of corals will react differently to the molasses and recover at different rates – if there’s going to be a recovery at all," he said.

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