What Spill is Killing Thousands of Fish In Hawaii? Hint: It's Not Oil

A molasses spill at Honolulu Harbor is slowing killing marine life. A ship loaded with 1,600 tons of molasses to ship to the West Coast was discovered to have a faulty pipeline. According to a press release, Matson ship representatives informed the Hawaii Department of Health that about 233,000 gallons of the liquid has infected the harbor. As a result, thousands of sea creatures are dying, struggling to breathe. Unlike an oil spill, molasses runs deep to the bottom of the ocean, absorbing all oxygen.

Matson released a statement apologizing for the marine ecological disaster, ensuring this won’t happen again. But why weren't the pipes checked prior to loading the ship? If a proper safety check was administered, the incident negatively impacting marine life may have been prevented. Although the sugary goo doesn't directly impact human life, officials are warning locals to steer away from the waters as the carcasses of fish are known to attract hungry sharks and barracuda.

There is not much that can be done to clean the spill as molasses dissipates on its own. In the meantime, locals must witness the agonizing death of numerous of beautiful tropical fish, eels and crabs.

Reef biologist Dave Gulko from the Department of Land and Natural Resources comments, "We're seeing thousands of them. A lot of fish that are in that very stressed situation in very shallow water. We're seeing reef fish you'd never see. Butterfly fish, eels, etc. ... all right up next to the shoreline."

Given Matson refused a request to interview with Hawaii News Now, so it's uncertain as to why Matson ship didn't conduct some form of safety procedures before loading the molasses. The leak could have incidentally occurred after the initial loading, but in that case, the ship should have still been inspected on a regular basis to confirm that it could carry 1,600 tons of the sugary liquid. In either case, the sea creatures at Honolulu Harbor will continue along the unfortunate road to their watery graves.

How likely are you to make Mic your go-to news source?

Andreea Nica

Andreea Nica is a freelance writer, scholar, egalitarian, and yogi. She holds a master's degree from the London School of Economics within Communications. Andreea also holds a B.A. in Psychology from Northern Arizona University. Currently, she is writing a nonfiction narrative on transitioning from Pentecostalism, focusing on society, identity, and power. She is the Founder and Editor of OrganiCommunications empowering clients in content development and media strategy. She is the author of 2 blogs and writes for various online platforms. You can find her meandering in the Pacific Northwest. Contact Andreea: andreea@organicommunications.com

MORE FROM

Conservative columnist Bret Stephens joins MSNBC

Stephens will remain a columnist at The New York Times.

Department of Homeland Security announces new airline security rules

The new measures could help end the electronics ban.

Democrats on Neil Gorsuch's first Supreme Court term: "We've got another Scalia"

Some say Gorsuch's even-handed performance during his confirmation hearings "might be more an act than it was a real persona."

Fox News just hired US Rep. Jason Chaffetz as a correspondent

Chaffetz is headed to Fox.

Here are the key rulings from the Supreme Court's busy June term

The court's term ended with rulings on immigration, the First Amendment, LGBTQ rights and more.

These 3 Republican governors could pose the biggest threat to the Senate health care bill

Why some Republican governors oppose their own party's health care bill

Conservative columnist Bret Stephens joins MSNBC

Stephens will remain a columnist at The New York Times.

Department of Homeland Security announces new airline security rules

The new measures could help end the electronics ban.

Democrats on Neil Gorsuch's first Supreme Court term: "We've got another Scalia"

Some say Gorsuch's even-handed performance during his confirmation hearings "might be more an act than it was a real persona."

Fox News just hired US Rep. Jason Chaffetz as a correspondent

Chaffetz is headed to Fox.

Here are the key rulings from the Supreme Court's busy June term

The court's term ended with rulings on immigration, the First Amendment, LGBTQ rights and more.

These 3 Republican governors could pose the biggest threat to the Senate health care bill

Why some Republican governors oppose their own party's health care bill