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April - May 2000

Atlantis Adventures to acquire Navatek I

Running out of room...the need to expand container yards

Expedition of Discovery

DeepWorker takes on new depths

Council finalizes measures to manage sharks

Regulatory News

Marine Casualties

National beach preservation conference



News Briefs News from American Classic, DOT and Ko Olina

Soundings: HOST seeks industry-wide support






Atlantis Adventures to acquire Navatek I

Atlantis Submarines Hawaii LLP, doing business as Atlantis Adventures, will add another vessel to its fleet of ocean tour vessels with the acquisition of the high-tech SWATH tour boat Navatek I.

Atlantis Adventures and Pacific Marine announced an agreement in principle for Atlantis to acquire Pacific Marine subsidiary Hawaiian Cruises, Ltd., including the Navatek I and its associated operating permits. The sale is expected to close in late April.

Not affected by the sale are Pacific Marine’s Maui tour boat operations, which include the Navatek II and the Maui Nui Explorer vessels.

The purchase price and terms of the agreement were not disclosed, and until the purchase becomes final, Pacific Marine will continue to own and operate the vessel and offer its whale-watching and dinner cruises.

“The sale of Hawaiian Cruises is part of a company plan announced back in September 1999 to downsize our tourism industry operations and focus on more profitable business opportunities,” said Pacific Marine President Steven Loui.

hile highly visible in Hawaii’s visitor industry, Pacific Marine’s passenger vessel operations represent only 20 percent of the company’s total revenues, Loui said.

Darrell Metzger, president of Atlantis, said, “As the pioneer of submarine tours in Hawaii and the leader in marketing visitor attractions in the Islands, Atlantis is continually looking for opportunities to expand. Acquisition of the Navatek I will enable us to begin offering dinner cruises, a natural extension of our daytime tours.”

Now in its 12th year in Hawaii, Atlantis Adventures is the state’s largest attractions operator, with 1999 sales of $46 million. In addition to its deep-diving tourist submarine operations, the company provides marketing and management services to Sea Life Park Hawaii, Waimea Valley Adventure Park, the Battleship Missouri Memorial and other attractions.












Running out of room

As Hawaii container volumes increase, so does the need to expand container yards

by Mele Pochereva

For the first time in a long time, Matson Navigation Company and CSX Lines both reported a rise in Hawaii freight volume. Container volumes for both companies were up 5 percent in 1999 over 1998.

CSX Lines would not disclose figures, but Matson carried 151,215 containers last year, up from 143,431 in 1998. It was the first time the company’s volume has risen since 1994, the year that rival CSX Lines (formerly Sea-Land Services) was hit by a strike.

That’s the good news, and a hopeful sign of economic improvement for the state.

The bad news is, container storage space at Sand Island is at capacity, and at present, no additional container storage at Honolulu Harbor is planned for 10 years or more. Currently, Matson operates on 110.5 acres and CSX operates on 39 acres.

The Oahu Commercial Harbors 2020 Master Plan, completed at the end of 1996, placed container storage at the top of the list of 20 most important harbor facility needs. It identified the need for an additional 85 to 100 acres of container storage at Honolulu Harbor by the year 2020, based on a 2-1/2 percent annual growth rate for the state’s economy.

The plan earmarks Kapalama Military Reservation for container operations, possibly for the re-location of CSX Lines from its Sand Island facilities. But that project, which could provide the needed  85 to 100 acres, is at least 10 years and $100 million away, according to Fred Nunes, engineering program manager for the state Department of Transportation-Harbors Division. 

Before plans for Kapalama can be drawn up, two harbor studies, soon to be underway by the Army Corps of Engineers, must be completed. The first will study the technical, environmental and economic feasibility of building a tunnel under Kalihi Channel to replace the Sand Island bridges and open the channel for vessel traffic. A second study will investigate the widening and reconfiguration of the Kalihi Channel turning basin, a project that could impact the available space at Kapalama.

Nunes says once the studies are completed and it’s known whether or not part of the Kapalama lands will be removed for channel widening, DOT can proceed with planning the new container facilities. Financing is a major issue, he says, and completion of the Kapalama container facility is 10 years off at best.

But that’s not soon enough for Hawaii’s two land-squeezed shipping companies.

Temporary solutions

CSX Lines’ Taylor says his company and Matson together need 5 to 10 acres immediately to accommodate the anticipated freight growth over the next couple of years.

C. Bradley Mulholland, Matson president and CEO, announced earlier this year that his company has set up a special project “Team 2000” to look at ways to maximize capacity at Sand Island to meet current space constraints. Under the leadership of Matson Terminals Vice President Ken Tagawa, working with Matson Terminals President Gary North and the consulting firm of Jordan Woodman Dobson (JWD), Mulholland said the team will examine all aspects of the operations and “explore how to best utilize the space available and ensure all container handling operations are handled in the most efficient way possible.”

In discussing his company’s options, Clint Taylor, public affairs manager for CSX, says stacking containers higher as is done at many other cargo terminals, is not as easy a solution in Hawaii’s unique market where customers use the container yards as temporary storage until they need their goods. Congestion and high container stacks slow down the ability to retrieve containers efficiently when customers want them, adding higher labor costs to customers’ tabs. Furthermore, says Taylor, the asphalt is not strong enough to support more than three-high stacks of containers.

Taylor adds that Kalaeloa Barbers Point Harbor, built to handle container cargo but now used primarily as a bulk cargo facility, is not a viable option because most of their container customers are within three to five miles of Honolulu Harbor. The increased cost of trucking containers from Kalaeloa into Honolulu would mean higher costs to consumers.

For several years, CSX, Matson and DOT have been eyeing a 26-acre parcel of land across from the Matson and CSX terminals for an interim container yard until the Kapalama project comes on line.

The largely idle parcel, zoned for an industrial park, falls under the jurisdiction of the state Department of Land and Natural Resources  Up to now the two state departments have been unable to reach an agreement that would satisfy DLNR’s revenue requirements.

Back in 1997, it was proposed that DOT lease the land from DLNR and share a percentage of its revenues. However, with the poor economy and shipping volume down, DOT did not feel it could justify the estimated $10.7 million it would cost to pave, light and fence the property for use as container storage.

With the upturn in the economy, rising cargo volume and more revenues for DOT, the agency is in a better financial position to address the need for an interim container yard. But complicating matters is Governor Ben Cayetano’s latest plan to build a municipal golf course on Sand Island to replace the Ala Wai Golf Course so that the Ala Wai can be converted into Honolulu’s “Central Park.” The new golf course would need part of the existing, underutilized Sand Island Park and other DLNR lands, including the 26-acre parcel sought for an interim container yard.

Finite space

The underlying problem that state government and the maritime industry must grapple with is how best to accommodate a growing maritime industry on a finite amount of harbor-front land that is controlled by three competing agencies: DOT-Harbors, DLNR and the Hawaii Community Development Authority (HCDA), which has jurisdiction over Piers 1 and 2.

Senate Bill 2301, now before the state Legislature and supported by Hawaii’s maritime industry, was introduced to define maritime land as any land required for commercial and industrial activities that are dependent on being adjacent to the water. The intent was to establish a “water dependency” criterion for the state when major decisions are being made involving lands near the water. In other words, making land use decisions based on maritime needs.

“We believe that Hawaii, as an island state, needs to be even more protective of our ‘maritime lands’ as our harbor frontage is finite and once committed to other uses is forever lost to maritime uses,” said Kraig Kennedy, chairman of the Maritime Committee of the Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii, in testimony before the Senate Ways and Means Committee.

However, as originally drafted, the bill sounded too much like a DOT “land grab,” explains Taylor. An amended bill dated March 21 limits the definition of “maritime lands” under DOT jurisdiction to exclude DLNR’s Sand Island industrial lease area, small boat harbors and lands under HCDA’s jurisdiction. But it does require Piers 1 and 2 to be limited to maritime use.

While the bill doesn’t provide an immediate solution to the critical need for temporary container yard space, the Administration by Executive Order can transfer lands from the jurisdiction of one state agency to another. With a definition of “maritime lands” in place and container volume growing, the maritime industry hopes it can present a strong case for incremental temporary acreage of at least 8 to 10 acres on Sand Island, prior to the development of Kapalama Military Reservation.











Expedition of Discovery

Imagine being able to hike all the way from Lahaina to Lanai, stopping to rest by a dozen or so deep basin lakes along the way. Of course, there were no humans in Hawaii 21,000 years ago to utilize the vast land bridge, but the features still exist – now submerged beneath hundreds of feet of ocean.

Today, the Au Au Channel cloaks the land bridge, the sunken lakes and a drowned coral reef, but the inspiring discovery of these ancient features was made by a group of scientists who recently converged in Hawaii to conduct an expedition of deep sea research, discovery and education.

The scientific team is part of the Sustainable Seas Expedition, a research project that will explore all 12 U.S. marine sanctuaries during the next five years, and pass the knowledge on to the rest of us. The project is a unique collaboration between the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the National Geographic Society, with support from the Richard and Rhonda Goldman Fund and private industries.

The 10-day Hawaii mission took place in the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary this past January and involved local scientists, businesses and hundreds of Hawaii students.

For the Hawaii leg of the voyage, expedition leaders recruited several noted Hawaii scientists and were also equipped with the latest sea-going technology by American Deepwater Engineering Ltd., part of Honolulu–based American Marine Services Group. The company’s two new state-of-the-art deep water submersibles played a critical role in exploring and characterizing sanctuary waters as deep as 1,300 feet. The one-person subs were brought to Hawaii just four months earlier.

Local scientists Dr. Rick Grigg, a professor of oceanography at the University of Hawaii, and Dr. Whitlow Au, chief scientist for the Marine Mammal Research Program at the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology, were selected to join the project’s prestigious group of scientists, headed by National Geographic Scientist-in-Residence Dr. Sylvia Earle.

Earle is a pioneer marine scientist who made her first scientific voyage to Hawaii in 1977 to study the behavior of humpback whales. During the 1970s she also made her first deep dives in Hawaii sporting a bulky, armored suit and a Rolex watch. Back then, Earle walked across the bottom of the ocean — albeit clumsily — 1,200 feet below the surface.

Piloting the high-tech submersibles on her own made this expedition a dream come true for Earle, who nurtures a strong affinity for the humpback whales.
“Now I can follow where they go instead of watching wistfully while their tails disappear into the darkness,” Earle said in a recent telephone interview from her California office.

Frontiers of the deep

The submersibles, DeepWorker 8 and DeepWorker 9, can achieve speeds of three knots and are each powered by 24 aircraft batteries, said Scott Vuillemot, president of American Marine Services. The vehicles were key in the brand-new discovery of 13 sunken lakes and drowned reefs that virtually dot the perimeter of the submerged land bridge between Lahaina, Maui, and the island of Lanai.

“The discovery of these lakes is a major finding. We have more work to do, like taking core samples and analyzing them," said Dr. Rick Grigg.
The mission also was a dream come true for Grigg who, like Earle and other scientists, underwent two-weeks of rigorous training to “fly” the submersibles into the ocean depths.

Grigg, Earle and other scientists made 27 high-tech forays into the deep frontier to observe the growth of black coral populations and other marine life off Maui and Lanai. The Au Au Channel, where the lakes now lay submerged, is the primary black coral harvesting ground for a group of diehard black coral divers based out of Lahaina Harbor. The ledges surrounding the lakes make an ideal habitat for black coral, Grigg said.

Grigg, whose specialty is black coral and who has documented the biology of Hawaii’s coral species for numerous scientific journals, was glad to report that black coral divers have obeyed state law and have not harvested any “trees” past the three-foot cut-back limit. He previously discovered that black coral prefers to grow between 120 and 330 feet, but the submersible explorations revealed the populations are healthier in the middle ranges. Black coral colonies growing at 330 feet were smaller and suffered more parasitic corals and sponges than colonies at the shallower depths.

Grigg stressed the importance of protecting these drowned lake areas because of the unique ecosystems that thrive there. He is currently seeking legislation to preserve an area off Lahaina as a marine life conservation district. He also is supporting a one-square-mile “no-take” zone that would start three miles west of Lahaina, run parallel to shore for three miles and extend a third of a mile wide. Grigg describes the area as an important region that encompasses a submerged lake ecosystem at about 240 feet. He says officials at the state Department of Land and Natural Resources are supportive of the idea.

A slew of discoveries

The SSE Hawaii expedition is being heralded for its slew of biological discoveries, and the team plans to return to Hawaii for further exploration within the sanctuary. Earle found what she describes as a “vast forest” of halimeda plants on the bottom of one of the drowned lakes. Halimeda draw calcium carbonate out of the sea water and are vital for creating sand and contributing to the structure of coral reefs, Earle said. They typically grow in deeper water, but the plants Earle observed were growing in 200 to 300 feet of water.

Another interesting biological discovery came from Kelly Benoit Bird, a graduate student at the UH Institute of Marine Biology, and Dr. Whitlow Au. They knew that large numbers of small fish, shrimp and squid migrate toward the surface at night, and return to the depths during daylight. But Au says sonar on this SSE voyage showed the fauna is densest around midnight and was observed close to shore, a phenomenon previously unknown.

The finding is intriguing primarily because humpback whales, long thought to be what researchers call “seasonally anorexic” while in Hawaiian waters, could be sneaking a bite at night in the shallow waters they prefer. While this behavior has not been observed, Bird hopes their findings will spark an interest in studying humpbacks’ nocturnal habits.

Hawaii students also contributed to the research by heading out to sea on three whale watch vessels donated by Trilogy Excursions, Club Lanai and the Pacific Whale Foundation. They recorded whale sightings, took part in water quality tests and “trolled” for plankton samples.

Another 200 or so students boarded Atlantis Adventures submarines in Kona and Maui to monitor and count fish populations. The students who were aboard the Maui-based Atlantis submarine made a rendezvous with the DeepWorker submersibles, watching as Drs. Sylvia Earle and Steve Gittings, National Marine Sanctuary research coordinator, waved at them and maneuvered their submersibles around the larger submarine.

Later, 40 Hawaii students were joined by students from American Samoa (also the site of an SSE expedition) aboard NOAA’s ship Kaimimoana where the two groups shared information. And for the students who missed the hands-on experience, expedition leaders recorded a one-hour broadcast of KidScience, a Hawaii Department of Education distance learning program that is broadcast to as many as a million students in 24 mainland states, American Samoa and Hawaii classrooms.

Perhaps the most touching biological discovery came at the eleventh hour. During the first dive in the last hour of the last day of the expedition, Earle was alone in her DeepWorker submersible near the bottom of the backside of Lanai, at 1,299 feet. Out of the corner of her eye she noticed what she thought was a squid. It was actually a six-foot-long ruby red octopus moving languidly through the water. The creature had a silvery white underside with flecks of silver and gold. Its large dark eyes regarded the scientist through the window of her submersible. The scientist regarded the creature. It was a female clutching a brood of eggs in the center of her eight tentacles. Octopus and scientist ascended together 300 feet to the 1,000-foot level.

“We literally danced for an hour,” Earle recalled. “It’s a great question: who was observing who?” But Earle is not one to get lost in reverie. The mission of the SSE voyage, she reminds us, is to explore and set up research projects, and to educate the public. Although Earle says she has an underlying satisfaction in being able to go to those places thus unexplored, her main work is for conservation.

“We have to do everything we can to protect the assets down there. They’re so easy to lose, and so impossible to put back together again,” Earle explains.

Jessica Ferracane is a freelance writer living on Maui.










DeepWorker takes on new depths

by Mele Pochereva

Stepping into one of American Deepwater Engineering’s new, one-person submersibles is like climbing into the cockpit of a jet fighter, explains Scott Vuillemot, president of parent company American Marine Services Group. Once strapped into the seat, the pilot is surrounded by high-tech computer equipment that runs the vehicle and its state-of-the-art communication, navigation and data recording systems. Close the hatch, and the sporty underwater flying machine is ready to go.

Weighing two tons each and powered by deep cell batteries, the company’s DeepWorker 8 and DeepWorker 9 are two of only four such submersibles in the world. The other two are owned by the manufacturer, Nuytco Research Ltd. of Vancouver, Canada. They are the result of American Marine Services’ two-year effort to bring new technology to Hawaii that can be used to develop ocean resources and provide services to federal and state agencies for marine research and other projects.

The two craft were delivered in September of 1999 and underwent a couple of months of testing and modifications before taking on their first mission last December: a contract with the U.S. Navy to inspect and repair submarine range systems in the Islands.

In January of this year, the two DeepWorkers were part of a 10-day, 27-dive Sustainable Seas Expedition to explore the depths of the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary off the islands of Maui and Lanai. Certified for an operational depth of 2,000 feet, the expedition made the record books for the deepest dive conducted during an SSE mission, diving to 1,299 feet off Lanai’s Palaoa Point.

The DeepWorkers are controlled by foot pedals, freeing the pilot’s hands to log data on the on-board computer, operate the digital video camera or maneuver the vehicle’s external manipulator arm and various other tools. These “free-flying” vehicles perform much like a helicopter, with the capability of hovering as well as vertical and horizontal movement, Vuillemot says. And with a one-atmosphere cabin pressure, decompression is unnecessary.

Throughout each dive – which can last up to six hours – the submersibles maintain voice communication with American Marine’s mother ship, the American Islander, and with each other. The American Islander also transmits GPS navigational data acoustically to the DeepWorkers. At all times the surface crew knows the exact locations of the submersibles, and waypoints can be mapped so sites can be re-visited on future dives.

Taking no safety risks, the DeepWorkers are equipped with redundant systems, including life support. And if at any time a DeepWorker pilot becomes unable to operate the craft, the crew aboard the American Islander can take control of the craft and bring it safely back to the surface.








Council finalizes measures to manage sharks

The management of shark harvesting and other fishery actions were adopted by the Western Pacific Fishery Management Council at its meeting in Honolulu in March. The council has jurisdiction over the exclusive economic zone (generally 3 to 200 miles from shore) surrounding Hawaii, American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands and U.S. Pacific Island remote areas.

Among the actions taken at the four-day meeting were the following:

Shark Management

  • Agreed to amend the Pelagics Fishery Management Plan to (1) limit the harvest of non-blue sharks by the Hawaii longline fishery to one shark per trip and (2) set a precautionary harvest guideline of 50,000 blue sharks annually for the fleet.

  • Encouraged the Coral Reef Ecosystem Plan Team to investigate the appropriate management measures of coastal shark stocks to fishing mortality.

Northwestern Hawaiian Island (NWHI) Fisheries

  • Defended the scientifically based fisheries management process and continuation of the lobster and bottomfish fisheries. A lawsuit against the National Marine Fisheries Service alleges these fisheries are a threat to the Hawaiian monk seal and should be closed.

  • Recommended the year 2000 NWHI lobster harvest guideline not exceed 130,000; requested the lobster fishing industry enter into an agreement with NMFS to fish according to a research protocol; requested a research plan to study both spiny and slipper lobster at all NWHI banks.

Draft Coral Reef Ecosystem Fishery Management Plan

  • Expanded no-take marine protected areas in federal waters of the NWHI.

  • Added an anchoring ban in some no-take protected areas yet to be identified.

  • Established additional measures concerning mooring buoys, vessel groundings and vessel monitoring, to be possibly incorporated in the future under a framework process.

Fishery Rights of Indigenous People

  • Recommended NMFS devote appropriate funds to investigate turtle resources in the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam and American Samoa.

  • Recommended that workshops on the cultural use of sea turtles by indigenous people be duplicated in Hawaii, Guam and American Samoa.

  • Recommended that one council member seat be created for an indigenous person to represent native fishing concerns in the Western Pacific region.

Further information on these and other actions taken by the council is available online at









Regulatory News

CG finalizes vessel inspection rules

The Coast Guard has finalized its vessel inspection rules amending regulations to introduce a 5-year Certificate of Inspection cycle to harmonize inspections with most internationally required certificates. The rule, which became effective on February 4, aligns inspection schedules with international protocols; establishes an examination process that gives the industry additional latitude in scheduling inspections; and creates a parity between small passenger vessels and all other Coast Guard-inspected vessels. The Coast Guard expects the rule to result in reduction in the time and paperwork associated with vessel inspections for certification.

Safety regs proposed for small passenger ships

The Coast Guard has proposed regulations that implement safety measures for uninspected passenger vessels under the Passenger Vessel Safety Act of 1993 (PVSA). This Act authorizes the Coast Guard to amend operating and equipment guidelines for uninspected passenger vessels over 100 gross tons, carrying 12 or less passengers for hire. These regulations will implement this new class of uninspected passenger vessel, provide for the issuance of special permits to uninspected vessels, and develop specific manning, structural fire protection, operating, and equipment requirements for a limited fleet of PVSA exempted vessels.

Comments and related material pertaining to 46 CFR 26.03-8 of the rulemaking must reach the Docket Management Facility on or before April 3, 2000. Comments and materials pertaining to the remaining portion of this rulemaking must reach the Docket Management Facility on or before May 31, 2000. Comments sent to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) on collection of information must reach OMB on or before May 1, 2000.

For questions on the proposed rule, call Lieutenant Commander Michael A. Jendrossek, Office of Operating and Environmental Standards (G-MSO-2), Coast Guard, at 202-267- 0836. For questions on viewing or submitting material to the docket, call Dorothy Walker, Chief, Dockets, Department of Transportation, telephone 202-366-9329.

New OPA-90 planning caps

On January 6, the Coast Guard announced a 25 percent increase in spill response equipment planning caps for both tank vessels and marine transportation-related (MTR) facilities. The new caps will become effective April 5, 2000.

According to a special edition of Vessel & Facility Compliance News, published by Regulatory Compliance Partners (RCP) Inc., this action will have far-reaching impacts on those whose spill response plans rely on previous equipment caps to limit the amount of spill response equipment for which they must have a “contract or other approved means.”

RCP predicts the cap increase for “Effective Daily Recovery Capacity” (EDRC) will have a domino effect on other equipment requirements, including increases in temporary storage and ancillary equipment such as trained personnel, boats, spotting aircraft, sorbents, booms, and other resources.









Marine Casualties

The following information is provided by the USCG Marine Safety Office Honolulu.


The fishing vessel Princess K suffered a main engine fire while in waters approximately 18 nautical miles south of Kahoolawe.  The crew contained the fire, however the engine was damaged beyond repair.  A crewmember was injured from smoke inhalation. USCG Cutter Washington arrived on scene the next morning.  The injured crewmember was flown by helicopter to Honolulu.  Cutter Washington towed the Princess K back to Honolulu.

The tug Kamaehu collided with the tug Pono while assisting the arrival of Queen Elizabeth II.  Kamaehu, a Z-Drive tractor tug, lost hydraulic steering pressure while maneuvering.  Unable to stop or slow down, the Kamaehu struck the Pono’s port side. The Pono sustained structural damage.  Further investigation revealed a failed pump coupling. There were no injuries.

The charter vessel Hokua was underway when the port engine suddenly lost power.  The engine was immediately secured and smoke was visible from the vents.  Fuel supply and hatches were secured and the vessel proceeded back to port.  Investigation revealed a faulty fuel line leaked into the crankcase and the excess mixture was blown onto the turbocharger.  Two passengers were treated for minor smoke inhalation.

The fishing vessel Shaman II grounded at the entrance of Kewalo Basin.  Initial attempts to pull the vessel from the reefs were unsuccessful.  The crew abandoned the vessel and was then picked up by USCG Station RHI.  Collection of fuel and bilges was conducted the next morning.  On Feb. 20, a salvage company pulled the vessel off the reef.









National beach preservation conference

A National Beach Preservation Conference has been set for August 7-10 at the Royal Lahaina Resort in Kaanapali, Maui. This is American Shore and Beach Preservation Association’s annual conference and a follow-up conference to Hawaii Sea Grant’s 1998 Coastal Erosion Management Conference.

The program will feature many of the world’s experts on coastal erosion, beach restoration and resource management. It will focus on techniques for managing coastal erosion and beach loss  that have successfully preserved or restored beaches and other shoreline areas around the world. There also will be sessions focusing on beach management issues for Hawaii and other Pacific islands. An optional pre-conference field trip will be offered on August 7.

Sponsors include the American Shore and Beach Preservation Assn., U.H. Sea Grant College Program, Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources, Maui County Coastal Lands Program, and others.

The Call for Papers deadline for abstracts is April 28. For more details visit the conference Web site at









Charles Helsley, director of the Hawaii Sea Grant College Program since 1995, and Rose Pfund, associate director of the program, have retired after many years of service to the University of Hawaii.

Helsley was with the University of Hawaii for 23 years. Prior to his Sea Grant appointment, Helsley served as director of the Hawaii Institute of Geophysics, a post he held for 18 years. He also held a post as professor in the UH Department of Geology and Geophysics, and served as acting dean at the UH School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology, the fourth largest oceanographic research institute in the country.

During his tenure as Sea Grant director, Helsley spearheaded Hawaii’s first experiment in open-ocean aquaculture which tested a commercial offshore sea cage stocked with 70,000 Pacific threadfin, or moi. The experiment successfully demonstrated the feasibility of farming fish in an open-ocean environment and has become a national model for offshore cage culture.

Rose Pfund is retiring after almost 34 years of service to the University of Hawaii. She has dedicated her professional career to higher education, primarily in curriculum development and administration.

Pfund also spearheaded three noteworthy innovations in lower education: 1) the Annual High School Student Symposium on Marine Affairs, initiated in 1976 and now being coordinated by the Hawaiian Academy of Sciences; 2) Hoi Ana Ike Kai, an educational program initiated in 1978 at Waianae High School and Maili Elementary School; and 3) Makahiki Kai, a five-year traveling marine education exhibit and program.

Pfund also developed and initiated two new programs: 1) the Sea Grant New Researcher Grants which discovers new faculty research talent, and 2) the Sea Grant Undergraduate Summer Research Program, with grants from DLNR and Aquasearch, Inc.

In the area of research, Pfund coordinated and directed a team of researchers in the in the first study on the environmental impacts and policy aspects of oil spills in Oil Spills at Sea: Potential Impacts on Hawaii.

Replacing Helsley as director of the Sea Grant Program is E. Gordon Grau, professor of zoology and former interim director of the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology.

Grau’s professional affiliations include membership in the American Society of Zoologists, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Endocrine Society, the Asia and Oceania Society for Comparative Endocrinology and the World Aquaculture Association.

Grau was the recipient of the Regent’s Medal for Excellence in Research at the University of Hawaii in 1988.

The Hawaii Coastal Zone Management (CZM Hawaii) program nominated Christine Woolaway for the prestigious second annual Environmental Awards Program, sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Woolaway, the coastal recreation and tourism extension agent for Hawaii’s Sea Grant Service, was recognized for her efforts towards preserving Hawaii’s environment, particularly her leadership in marine debris clean-up projects.









News Briefs

New ships hurt American Classic earnings

Costs related to the building of two new, luxury cruise ships for its Hawaii service and fleet expansion of its Delta Queen Steamboat operations were primary contributors to American Classic Voyages’ fourth-quarter loss of $33,000 last year.  The company reported a loss of $1.8 million for all of 1999, compared to a 1998 profit of $200,000.

Company revenues were up for the year, however, at $208.7 million compared with $192.2 million in 1998.

Bookings for its American Hawaii Cruises are strong for the first nine months of 2000, with the 1,021-passenger SS Independence 96 percent booked. In December, the company will put a second inter-island cruise ship, the 1,214-passenger MS Patriot, into service under its new United States Lines brand.

Meanwhile, the company is building two new 1,900-passenger ships as part of its United States Lines fleet. They are scheduled to go into Hawaii service in 2003 and 2004.

Harbor contracts awarded

The state Department of Transportation awarded an $85,000 contract to Dillingham Construction Pacific, Ltd. for pile repairs at Nawiliwili Harbor’s Pier 2 on Kauai. A $4.7 million contract was awarded to Hawaiian Dredging Construction Co. for improvements at Kalaeloa Barbers Point Harbor on Oahu.

Work on the Nawiliwili repairs was scheduled to begin in March.

Improvements at Kalaeloa Barbers Point include the extension of Pier 5 by 305 feet, grading and paving the new storage yard, utility improvements, and the installation of a new breasting dolphin with mooring bitt. Work is scheduled to begin in April.

Ko Olina Marina now open

The state’s first resort marina was dedicated on March 16 at Ko Olina Resort in West Oahu. The 43-acre, 270-slip Ko Olina Marina is now open to recreational boaters and commercial boat operators.

Floating concrete docks accommodate vessels up to 150 feet in length. Other amenities include a marina convenience store with a full service fuel dock for gasoline, diesel and pump-out services; a launch ramp; 30 trailer parking stalls; access to electricity, water, phone, cable television hook-up; laundry and restroom facilities; and barbecue and picnic areas.

Slip rental fees begin at $9 per foot per month; guest slips start at $1.50 per foot per day. For further information, call the marina office at 808-679-1050.

Oceanic Institute receives Castle grant

The Harold K.L. Castle Foundation has awarded a $75,000 capital grant to the Oceanic Institute for the expansion of the Center for Applied Aquaculture and Marine Biotechnology. The expansion will include 11 new research, training and education facilities on the islands of Oahu, Hawaii and Molokai.

The grant is the largest single private grant awarded to the institute and serves as the cornerstone of OI’s $6 million capital campaign. The campaign has raised $3.5 million to date.

Lady Bella sued

An abandoned cargo ship that was towed to Kalaeloa Barbers Point Harbor in January is the subject of a lawsuit filed by the salvage company that found the vessel adrift off Midway Island last year.

According to industry sources, Sunbelt Surplus Valve Inc. of Texas filed a lawsuit against the 486-foot Lady Bella in U.S. District Court on February 28, seeking $4 million for the salvage job. Sunbelt wants to impose a lien on the vessel and its freight which includes vehicles, engines, machinery, paraffin, steel pipe and other cargo.

The Lady Bella caught fire north of Midway last August and was abandoned by the crew who were picked up quickly by a passing vessel. It drifted for four months before Sunbelt chartered a tug to bring it to Hawaii.






Soundings: HOST seeks industry-wide support

by Terry O’Halloran

Are Hawaii’s waterways safer today than they were last year?  The answer is a resounding “Yes!”     Where can you find a decision matrix that spells out what prevention and safety measures need to be in place while a vessel conducts maintenance and repair at anchor?  You will find it in SOP 1-97.  Where can you find minimum standards for conducting safe scuba diving operations from vessels in Hawaiian waters?  That can be found in SOP 5-97.  Are there safety procedures for multiple cruise ship visits at Lahaina Harbor, Maui?  Yes, in SOP 7-98.  These are just a few of the Safe Operating Practices (SOP) that have been developed by members of the Hawaii Operational Safety Team (HOST) to make Hawaii’s waterways safer.

HOST is a statewide organization that proactively finds solutions to maritime safety and environmental issues in Hawaii.  We are at a crossroad and seek support from the maritime industry that we represent.  Before you get the pitch, however, let me provide a review of HOST.

HOST is a private non-profit organization and the ONLY maritime industry group that focuses on the prevention of accidents and pollution-free stewardship of the marine environment. Our mission at HOST is to provide an open forum for industry, government and public to identify and propose solutions to maritime issues.  We focus on the root causes and the human element to proactively prevent future casualties.

It does not matter whether you are a sailor, cruise ship captain, government official, or fisherman — all ocean users with an interest in maritime safety are equal and welcome to participate in HOST subcommittees.  It is this community-based input that is the heart and strength of HOST and ensures that the solutions of ocean-related issues really work.  This philosophy is captured in our statement of core values:  HOST participants openly share expertise, are respectful of others, are solution-oriented and have the courage to succeed.

The real work is done through 14 subcommittees that are organized by subject — from anchorages to ocean racing — or by geographical location. 

An Advisory Board provides strategic direction, establishes general meeting agendas, disseminates information, and provides general oversight as to the issues pending before HOST.  Board members represent the broad and diverse sectors of our industry including shipping, ocean tourism, fishing, yacht clubs, government, labor and the public at large.

The chairpersons of the Kauai, Maui, Big Island, and Oahu subcommittees are also Advisory Board members, bringing a statewide perspective to the board and enhancing coordination.

Identifying and finding solutions to maritime safety and environmental concerns is the primary purpose of HOST.  Many issues are relatively simple and solutions are found by educating other subcommittee participants and reaching agreement.  There are times, however, when issues are complex, involve a large number of stakeholders or have statewide implication.  Solutions for these types of issues may require a number of subcommittee meetings and the development of a Safe Operating Practice (SOP). 

There is a tremendous difference between a government regulation and an industry Safe Operating Practice.  HOST SOPs are developed and amended by the maritime industry through consensus and are distributed to all appropriate government agencies and the maritime industry.  Regulations are developed by government agencies, may not have industry buy-in and are very difficult to amend once in place.  The ability of the maritime industry to self-regulate can be very effective if it is applied conscientiously and objectively.

Now for the pitch.  HOST was initially started with invaluable assistance of the Coast Guard and Captain Frank Whipple.  The Coast Guard has, to date, provided a significant level of administrative support to our all-volunteer organization.  While we are grateful to the Coast Guard and they remain committed to HOST, it is time for us to become administratively self-sufficient and move forward as a truly independent industry organization. 

Accomplishing this goal is a significant challenge and we must take small steps if we hope to be successful.  The real work of HOST will continue to be done by interested ocean users who volunteer their time and expertise. However, there are administrative functions needed for the coordination and communication of this worthwhile effort – and this costs money. 

We must not create a large bureaucracy that feeds on an ever-increasing level of funding, for this will not serve the purpose of HOST nor benefit our industry.  Therefore, the Advisory Board has developed a minimal budget ($20,000 annually) to support a part-time administrative position and share an office. 

In order to fund this minimal budget we have established different levels of sponsorship that will allow maritime businesses and individuals to contribute to the future of HOST and maritime safety.  Sponsorship is not to be confused with membership, for any interested ocean user willing to participate is automatically a HOST member with no fees attached. 

Sponsorship levels range between a $5,000 Lifetime Sponsor to a $50 Contributing Member. You can get more information about HOST and how to become a sponsorship by visiting the HOST webpage at

The future of HOST is dependent upon the maritime industry stepping forward with support.  We are already proving that we have the ability to stand together and conscientiously apply our expertise toward making our waterways safer.  If we improve safety in Hawaiian waters, lives and equipment will be saved — this is indeed a worthwhile goal and worthy of support.


© 2002 Hawaii Ocean Industry