A 1,400-ton leak of molasses in waters near Honolulu harbor could attract sharks and other maritime predators, Hawaiian health officials said.
They have advised swimmers and surfers to stay out of the water.
A leak in a pipeline used to move the sweet, sticky liquid into ships has killed hundreds of fish, officials said (Greenwire, Sept. 12). Health department spokeswoman Janice Okubo said thousands more fish may die in the coming weeks. Health officials also said the leak could lead to an overgrowth of algae and harmful bacteria.
Shipping company Matson Navigation Co., which transports the molasses, said that the leak was caused by a faulty pipe and that the substance would eventually dissipate. "We take our role as an environmental steward very seriously," the company said in a statement. "We have a long history in Honolulu harbor and can assure all involved that this is a rare incident."
Molasses is a byproduct of sugar cane processing (Reuters/London Guardian, Sept. 13).
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