Monday, September 24, 2007

Ferry Bad Things

The Hawaii Superferry saga seems to just go on and on and on. The Honolulu Advertiser is covering the current hearings in Maui that will be the deciding factor in whether or not the ferry gets to resume service until an environmental impact assessment can be completed. A court order and bunches of angry protesters led to a shutdown of the ferry at the end of August. At issue, among other things, is that the ferry will be transporting invasive hitchhikers back and forth between the Hawaiian Islands. An expert testified that the chances of this were negligible when considered along with the many other marine transport vehicles that traverse Hawaiian waters. Before you decide whether he's right, it's worth reading through to the end of the article to get the details of the inspection protocols the ferry will be subject to - officials have taken a wide variety of possible invasive species pathways into consideration, from vehicles being transported on the ferry to the footwear of its passengers.

I'm not sure what the typical "cargo" of marine transport in Hawaii is, but it seems like regular transport of people and their vehicles opens up a whole new set of pathways beyond the whole ballast and hull-fouling issues. Note that an environmental assessment is typically done *beforehand* in situations like these, but the Superferry backers somehow managed to score an exemption from having any assessment done at all.

For more background about the Hawaii Superferry, check out this older article from the Honolulu Advertiser, or this article from the Molokai Dispatch (thanks to Michaek K. for sending those links in!)


Anonymous said...

There is, of course, but one crucial invasive species.
Mirror, please.

Anonymous said...

Today, October 9, 2007, Judge Cardoza blocked the Hawaii Superferry from operating in Maui waters until an environmental assessment was completed. Go to the Honolulu Advertiser web site for more information (