Business, Economics and Jobs

Hawaii molasses spill suffocates thousands of fish (VIDEO)


A fish dead after suffocating in molasses in Honalulu harbor.



A huge spill of viscous molasses into Honolulu harbor in Hawaii has caused thousands of fish and other marine life to die of suffocation.

“There’s nothing alive there at all,” diver Roger White told NBC affiliate KHNL.

“Everything is dead. They’re all dead, and they’re all just lying across the bottom — hundreds and hundreds, thousands.”

As authorities scrambled to collect as much dead fish as possible, still thousands of others sat lifeless on the seafloor, NBC News reported.

Fourteen hundred tons of molasses spilled into the harbor after a pipe connecting a storage tank to a ship burst on Monday.

The leak was fixed, but the damage had already been done.

The molasses, a refined sugar product, was to be shipped to California. It comes from the last sugar plantation on Hawaii and is shipped to the mainland each week.

People have been warned to stay away from the harbor, as the dead fish could attract large predators.

A clean-up is not underway given that it's not an oil spill, but a natural product, Matson shipping company spokesman Jeff Hull told NBC. The molasses is expected to disperse on its own, but the brown color could last weeks.

It is unclear whether the government will take legal action against Matson.

The company told the Associated Press it hadn't planned for the possibility of a spill, and was not required to by state law.