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.