Department of Emergency Management – “Stay Out of Honolulu Harbor and Keehi Lagoon… Increased Sightings of Dead Fish”

The Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) reminds the public to stay out of the water at Honolulu Harbor and Keehi Lagoon, and not to collect or consume any fish or marine life from the area. The dark water plume caused by a large spill of molasses into Honolulu Harbor on Sept. 9 persists today.

Mollasses Fish

DOH has tripled the size of the clean up crew in response to reports of increased sightings of dead fish; there are now three (3) boat crews working during daylight hours removing dead fish from the waters of Honolulu Harbor and Keehi Lagoon. As of yesterday, hundreds of dead fish have been collected. It is expected that thousands of dead fish will be collected and many more killed by the contaminated water. Fish collected are documented and are being kept on ice for possible testing. Water monitoring samples are collected daily to determine the location and concentration of the molasses contamination. This data will enable DOH to estimate the impact and duration of the contamination.
Mollasses Fish
It is anticipated that the plume may remain visible for weeks as the natural tides and currents slowly flush harbor waters into Keehi Lagoon and out to sea. Areas where the public normally has access to the lagoon and harbor have been posted with warning signs. DOH, the Departments of Land and Natural Resources and Transportation management staff and law enforcement officers are patrolling the affected area to regulate public access and ensure safety.

Matson has acknowledged their responsibility for the molasses spill and is working with state and federal agencies to assist with the spill response activities.

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