Oil Dumping in the Pacific

by Cory Harden

Five hundred tons of oil were illegally dumped on Vanuato Island (of Survivor fame) by the cruise ship Pacific Star (P&O Australia) in November 2006. The level of environmental vandalism was called unimaginable. Apparently deep holes were dug, lined with thin plastic, and filled with oil and raw sewage. A river below the dump site is used for drinking.

An investigator filmed the dumping plus illegal drugs, underage drinking and public lewdness being condoned by staff on the Pacific Star. His tapes vanished from his cabin and he was put off the ship.
Also, a former Pacific Star employee alleges he witnessed oil dumped at sea in 2005, leaving an oil slick almost two miles long. He said it was done in a casual manner that suggested dumping was not uncommon.
The illegal Vanuato dumping cost under $200. Legal disposal would have cost $30,000. Carnival Corporation’s net profit for 2006 was $2.28 billion.

Hawai`i hosts several cruise lines Carnival, Cunard, Holland America and Princess which are part of P&O’s parent company, Carnival Corporation.

What Can You Do?

Boycott sailing and servicing Carnival, Cunard, Holland America and Princess in Hawai`i … elsewhere boycott the other Carnival Corporation lines: Costa, Ocean Village, P&O, P&O Australia, Seabourn, Seetours/Aida, Swan Hellenic, Windstar.

Complain to Carnival Corporation (305) 599-2600.

Report dumping. You may receive thousands of dollars in reward money. Contact Cory Harden, PO Box 10265, Hilo, Hawai`i 96721, <mh@interpac.net> or (808) 968-8965.

Support the national Clean Cruise Ship Act via <http://www.congress.org>.

CRUISE SHIPS: GET THEIR NUMBER

By Cory Harden

Disturbing reports: mysterious slime, hard to wash off the skin, began appearing in Keaukaha waters a year and a half ago. A long white trail, persisting despite wave action, was seen behind the Pride of Aloha from Honoli`i this month. Shredded plastic was seen on Kona shores last month. We suspect cruise ships are dumping – help us prove it!

If you see trash, oil slicks or strange colors in the water, please contact KAHEA (the Hawaiian-Environmental Alliance) at www.kahea.org and fill out a short report form. They are collecting reports statewide. You may also contact me at 968-8965 ormh@interpac.net about dumping, or to help with pickets and passing out flyers.

Consider These Numbers:

1/2 – Portion of fines that may go to people who report cruise ship dumping.
3 – Number of people who picketed* the Pride of Aloha this month – Sarah Moon, Jan
Moon and me. We got lots of shakas and friendly honks from residents driving by. When I passed out flyers at shoreline areas later, most people seemed familiar with the issue and took a flyer.
17 – Number of dumping incidents in Hawai`i by cruise ships since 2003 . . . including dumping treated sewage in Penguin Bank, a protected fishing ground off Moloka`i frequented by humpback whales.
300 – Number of dumping incidents worldwide, 1993-2003 . . . including dumping oil,
garbage, hazardous waste, sewage and graywater; damaging coral reefs, and falsifying records.
$500,000 – Portion of fines awarded to a crew member who refused an order from Holland America to pump oily bilge water overboard, and reported the crime to the Coast Guard.

* The picket was not a Sierra Club event.

CRUISE SHIP FORUMS

By Jan Moon

In October forums were held in Kona and Hilo on the impact of more cruise ships in Hawai`i. The Hilo panel consisted of the harbor master, a Norwegian Cruise Line VP, an economist from UH-Hilo, and representatives of the Sierra Club, the County, and the Hawai`i Tourism Authority. Opportunities were given for public testimony and a question-and-answer period. At that meeting, the harbor master said, “The cruise ships are coming whether we like it or not.”

Arrivals will increase 600% by 2006. Concerns were raised about: 1) Impacts on our local infrastructure, harbors and parks. Who will pay for improvements? 2) What the cruise ships do with their trash, sewage and bilge water, etc. There are no regulations or regular monitoring of these discharges of waste. 3) Fumes and exhaust emissions are severe and control is lacking while ships are docked in the harbors. 4) Permits must be issued to help enforce regulations. 5) A berth tax or a tourist tax should be levied on each passenger to pay for monitoring and necessary improvements to each port and community affected, specifically.
The Sierra Club testified that sensible legislation should be adopted to cover these concerns; and the cruise ship VP said, “we can live with legislation.” The County has agreed to hold more public information forums on these issues.

PROPOSED KEALAKEHE DEEP WATER CRUISE SHIP HARBOR

By Janice Palma-Glennie

Lots of suggestions are floating around abut the future of 350 acres of state land next to Honokohau Harbor at Kealakehe in West Hawai`i. One of the most questionable (sounding straight out of the environmental Dark Ages) is a plan to dynamite millions of cubic feet of coastline to create an onshore, deep water cruise ship harbor big enough to accommodate the tie-up and turn-around of three modern cruise ships holding up to three thousand passengers each.

Threats to fishing, diving, surfing, local manta ray aggregates and air quality are just some of the potentially devastating short- and long-term spin-offs of this immense project. Are residents willing to mutate the shape and quality of the land and seas for an industry that’s largely unregulated and environmentally mischievous, and not forced to comply with local water quality rules?

DLNR chief, Peter Young, has heard the comments of West Hawai`i residents who attended a recent public meeting held in August to discuss Kealakehe development plans. Even though the official comment deadline was August 8, Sierra Club members who haven’t already done so might want to give their mana`o on this fusty scheme before a decision is made. E-mail Keith Cung at dlnr@hawaii.gov, or fax him at (808) 587-0455.