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August - November 2000

Honolulu Harbor Festival

Kaumalapau Harbor ownership transferred to state

Growing pains at Hawaii harbors

Maui prepares to welcome the SS Independence

A tale of two tunnels: State project afloat while city plan sinks

Profile: Na Wahine O Ke Kai

One fast lube

Regulatory News




News Briefs  News from DOT,
Ko Olina, and CSX


Hawaii’s fishing Future by Jim Cook







Honolulu Harbor Festival, Nov. 11

It’s being touted as the biggest event in Honolulu Harbor since King Kalakaua’s Regatta Days.

Members of the maritime community together with government agencies are organizing what they hope will become an annual Honolulu Harbor Festival, scheduled this year for November 11.

The day-long event on the harbor waterfront will be anchored by the Hawaii Maritime Center and Aloha Tower Marketplace, with other activities planned within the harbor basin. There will be exhibit booths for marine-related businesses; entertainment; lectures on global climate changes and other marine issues; a tug boat hula contest; and tours around the harbor with stops at various businesses along the way.

The festival concept was first floated at an informal meeting at Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant, explains Bob Krauss, a founding member of the all-volunteer event committee.  “We wanted to get people to recognize the economic impact of the harbor as well as share the cultural value of the harbor’s history,” Krauss said. “Everyone is cooperating so we can put Honolulu Harbor on the map.”

The Hawaii Tourism Authority has committed $8,000 to the event; nine businesses and individuals have contributed another $8,500; and $8,000 of in-kind support has been pledged by maritime interests.

Get involved

For a donation of $1,000, businesses may become sponsors of the event and get a free booth at the Harbor Festival “trade show.” Call Terry White at (808) 599-3788 or Bob Krauss at (808) 525-8073 for booth information or other ways to contribute or participate in the festival.








Kaumalapau Harbor ownership transferred to state

Hawaii State Transportation Director Kazu Hayashida signed an agreement on July 10 in which the state will take over the privately built and operated Kaumalapau Harbor on the island of Lanai. The transfer of ownership opens the way for federal assistance to reconstruct the harbor’s breakwater and make it safer for barge calls.

Damage in the last two decades from hurricanes Iwa and Iniki and other storms has made the breakwater less and less effective in protecting the harbor against rough ocean conditions. A regular schedule of barge calls with fuel and commodities has been difficult to maintain.

Chevron, the sole supplier of gasoline and diesel to the island for many years, stopped service to Lanai at the end of 1996 due to safety concerns and the liability imposed by the Oil Pollution Act of 1990. Since then, the Lanai Oil Company purchased a 115-foot fuel barge and contracted with American Workboats to make the deliveries.

“The lack of protection from the ocean conditions makes it difficult for fuel and cargo carrying barges to navigate into the harbor and makes it challenging even to load and offload cargo from a barge at berth,” Hayashida said.

The Dole Company originally built the breakwater in the late 1920s on land leased from the state. The lease requires the lessee – now the Lanai Company, a Castle & Cooke subsidiary – to maintain the breakwater. The price tag for the needed reconstruction is estimated at $15 million.

Recognizing that a safe, operational harbor was vital to the livelihood of Lanai residents, the state, Castle & Cooke and the Lanai Company initiated discussions with the goal of transferring the harbor into the state’s commercial harbor system. It was anticipated that the state ownership would open the way for federal assistance in reconstructing the breakwater.

The agreement is the result of long and complex negotiations that included resolving issues relating to the surface and subsurface conditions of the harbor fast lands and the cost issues relating to the state acquiring the land and local cost-sharing of the anticipated federal project.






Growing Pains
State facilities feel pressure as more and bigger cruise ships head for Hawaii

by Mele Pochereva

Governor Ben Cayetano’s recent veto of Senate Bill 2303 earlier this year was a disappointing, though not completely unexpected, blow to the maritime industry’s effort to fund much-needed improvements to passenger ship facilities around the state.

The bill would have pumped millions of dollars into facility upgrades by earmarking 15% of the public service company taxes paid by domestic cruise lines – American Hawaii Cruises and United States Lines – for such projects. With projected PSC tax revenues of $420 million during the 25 years the law would be in effect, 15% would go a long ways towards financing the estimated $87 million required to meet the needs of Hawaii’s growing cruise market – at no cost to Hawaii taxpayers.

Bill Thayer, president of Waldron Steamship Company, which handles about 80% of the international cruise ship calls to Hawaii, says more than anything, the governor’s veto means a loss of time in addressing the needs of the industry. “We now have to go back [to the Legislature] again next year,” he says.

The state Department of Transportation is planning a meeting with industry representatives in August to finalize priorities and prepare for next year’s legislative session.

“We’re working earlier and smarter and more as a team, with industry and government looking at new alternatives for the cruise industry,” said Thayer, adding that representatives from international cruise companies also have made a commitment to get more actively involved in supporting Hawaii’s cruise industry.

Why the urgency?

“We’ve been told by the international cruise lines that Hawaii is coming close to ‘critical mass’ in terms of available space to serve them,” Thayer explains. “We could reach that point as soon as 2003.”

He says that ships are getting bigger each year and in the next five to six years, 60 new cruise ships will be built. “This is not replacement tonnage, it’s new tonnage,” he points out. “Hawaii has a definite opportunity to take a substantial percentage of this growth.”

In February, 2001, Hawaii will welcome its first Panamax-class cruise ship, Celebrity Cruise Lines’ Infinity. Two more of these new, 965-foot,  “mega-liners” will call in the Islands next October. 

Ian Birnie, Big Island district manager for the DOT Harbors Division, says Hilo Harbor has 155 cruise ship calls scheduled for 2001, including 105 weekly calls by the two inter-island vessels, Independence and Patriot. They will bring a record-breaking 170,000 passengers into Hilo. Already there are several potential date conflicts next year, Birnie says.

Hilo Harbor  has only one pier long enough to accommodate the largest liners. Next May 3, the 915-foot Vision of the Seas is scheduled to call at Hilo, the same day that the United States Lines’ Patriot arrives.  Birnie says at the end of August, the Patriot is scheduled to stop at Hilo en route to Australia, where she has been chartered as a “floating hotel” for the Summer Olympics.

“We’ll take a look and see if she’ll fit at Pier 3,” said Birnie. If not, Vision of the Seas will have to be turned away since Patriot has the prior booking. Similar conflicts are anticipated later next year, Birnie confirmed.

Nawiliwili Harbor faces similar traffic problems with space for only one large cruise ship at its main Pier 1-2. The DOT plans to request funding next year to extend the pier.

Funding challenges notwithstanding, DOT-Harbors is moving forward with cruise ship-related projects on three islands, spending close to $17 million in funds appropriated for facility improvements (see insert).

Small boat harbors under pressure, too

As DOT-Harbors grapples with space and cost issues, the state agency in charge of Hawaii’s small boat harbors is planning upgrades to better accommodate tendering vessels at Kailua-Kona, Lahaina and Kikiaola on Kauai.

With approximately 2,200 passengers aboard the new Panamax vessels, for example, tendering facilities at Kailua-Kona and Lahaina harbors, which are shared with small commercial boat operators, will be further strained.

Howard Gehring, acting administrator of the Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation, said the agency is spending $4.065 million to plan and complete repairs on a portion of the existing pier at Kailua-Kona, which is used by tendering vessels and others. He says, following input from the community and cruise ship representatives, additional work could start in the current fiscal year to provide more and better facilities for bigger tender boats.

At Lahaina Harbor, approximately $130,000 is available to upgrade the loading dock to make it more resilient for tender use. Work is expected to begin in October. Gehring says that although there are no funds for a dedicated tender dock at this time, the state may get federal funds for inter-island ferry facilities that also could accommodate tender boats and other transient vessels.

The state also has released $1.7 million in capital improvement funds to cover its share of a $6.5 Corps of Engineer project at Kauai’s Kikiaola small boat harbor. Work could begin in early 2001 and includes realignment of the breakwater, dredging the channel and harbor, and putting in a small pier for recreational vessels and possibly more tour boats.

This is the first phase of a Kikiaola Harbor Master Plan developed by the community. Gehring says Kikiaola will not be able to accommodate tender vessels until Phase II is completed.  With an additional $2.7 million appropriated, but not yet released, Phase II includes additional dredging, loading dock upgrades and tendering facilities.

Proponents of the plan say Kikiaola could take some of the pressure off Nawiliwili Harbor by providing Kauai with a much needed second port-of-call for passenger ships.

“The bottom line is, we’re working hard with the cruise ship industry to meet their needs while getting input from the community and other harbor users,” said Gehring.







Cruise ship projects in progress

A 1998 study of Hawaii’s cruise ship facilities by Leo A. Daly Inc. said an estimated $87.1 million in commercial harbor improvements would be required in the coming years to accommodate a growing cruise ship industry.

The Department of Transportation–Harbors Division provided the following update of cruise-ship related projects now in progress.

Kahului Harbor

Pier 1C extension: 300 linear foot extension will allow two cruise vessels of 800-plus feet in length to berth simultaneously. Estimated cost: $10 million, harbor revenue bonds. Bids being evaluated. Estimated completion: May 2002

Passenger ship terminal at Pier 1A: A 6,776 square foot enclosed passenger holding area and exterior baggage claim area for the homeporting of the SS Independence. Cost: $981,000, harbor special funds. Under construction. Estimated completion: November 2000.

Breasting bollards at Pier 1: Additional berthing bollards to accommodate cruise ships. Cost: $339,400, harbor special funds. Under construction. Estimated completion: December 2000.

Hilo Harbor

Pier 1 shed modifications: Renovate shed to improve passenger waiting area, flow of passenger service vehicles and container handling. Under design. Estimated cost: $3.5 million, harbor special funds. Estimated completion: March 2003.

Honolulu Harbor

Pier 2 passenger terminal: New two-berth cruise ship terminal now in planning stage. Functional analysis concept development underway to determine scope and cost. Estimated design cost: $2 million, harbor special funds. Construction to be funded with harbor revenue bonds. Estimated construction completion: January 2003.







Maui prepares to welcome the SS Independence

by Paula Gillingham Bender

Construction began July 10 at Kahului Harbor’s Pier 1 in anticipation of it becoming the home port of the cruise ship SS Independence.

“We’ve started work to build a new passenger terminal inside the existing Pier 1 shed,” said Scott Cunningham, Maui district manager for the Department of Transportation-Harbors Division. “This is a fairly large project. It even requires the building of new offices for the stevedoring company.”

According to Cunningham, this is a fast-track project to be completed by mid-November. Approximately $1 million was allocated by the state to fund the terminal’s makeover. American Hawaii Cruises, which under its parent company American Classic Voyages Co., operates the Independence, is plunking down substantial funding for gangways and other facilities at the harbor.

Although he had no concrete figures to share, Gordon Shenk, AHC’s vice president of hotel operations, said the mooring of the vessel at Kahului Harbor will have a ripple effect on Maui businesses.

“We’ll obviously be making use of Maui for our needs and that goes for purchasing, transportation, the use of longshoremen and hotel partnerships,” Shenk said. “Also, Maui is a popular pre- and post-cruise destination with our guests. This allows us to position ourselves where they won’t have to fly in and out of Honolulu to cruise with us. With direct flights to Maui, the lift is there.”

Stephanie Ackerman, staff vice president of corporate and government affairs for Aloha Airlines, said no plans were being made just yet to add more flights to Maui because of the Indy’s relocation.

 “Right now, we don’t see any kind of trend happening with lift. But clearly, if and when the demand is there, we will make sure we put in the necessary lift to meet that demand,” Ackerman said. “Right now it’s difficult to predict the kind of traffic it will generate.”

Said Keoni Wagner, senior director of corporate communications at Hawaiian Airlines, “We don’t have any plans at the moment to change our Maui schedule in relation to the Independence. We feel our capacity to Maui is quite good and sufficient. But, we obviously will be watching that market closely. If there is an opportunity to increase capacity, we will likely do that.”

Charlene Kauhane, manager of public relations for the Maui Visitors Bureau, said that with both the Independence and United States Lines’ Patriot cruising the Island chain, there should be a steady stream of vacationing voyagers taking the time to sightsee, rent cars and eat at local restaurants.

“With the Independence accommodating more than 1,000 passengers, that means an additional 120,000 visitors per year to Maui,” Kauhane said. “Those passengers will stay one or two nights at our hotels.

“People think we’re not in support of the cruise industry because it competes with hotels. It does not. There are activities, jobs, rental car agencies and restaurants that will get extra business. And so will the hotels when people visit for pre- and post-cruise stays,” Kauhane said.

The Maui Visitors Bureau is excited because also starting in November will be direct flights from Dallas via American Airlines. That, along with the TWA’s direct flights out of St. Louis, marks the second flight east of the Rocky Mountains to fly directly to Maui.

“From what I hear, the TWA flight is always sold out, Kauhane said. “We expect [the same] with the Dallas flight, especially since American Hawaii Cruises is working with American. Hopefully, for the first-time visitor who does take the cruise, they’ll return to the island and stay in a hotel.”

“Boat Day” welcome planned

Both Cunningham and Kauhane claim that Maui is beside itself with the news of the Independence homeporting there. On Nov. 11, Kahului will host the grandest of boat days to welcome the ship to its new home. Conducting boat days long before Aloha Tower Marketplace revised its own welcoming schedule, Kauhane assures that it will be a day to remember for the lucky passengers and crew members who set sail that day.

According to Shenk, the appeals of taking a cruise are many.

“It has substantial value, we offer convenience and comfort, and we offer family packages,” he said. “There’s the luxury of only having to unpack once. And we help take care of children on board with youth activities. More and more value can be expected.”

To accommodate those vacationing voyagers who wish to extend their Maui stays with pre- and post-cruise plans, American Hawaii Cruises has established partnerships with several hotels.

“Our primary properties include the Outrigger Wailea and the Maui Prince in Wailea,” said Lei Fountain, AHC’s vice president of destination services. “In Kaanapali, we have partnerships with Embassy Suites, the Sheraton Maui and the Hyatt.”

Fountain said that about 40 percent of American Hawaii Cruise passengers plan pre- and post-cruise stays.

“For the Indy, which carries between 900-1,000 passengers on a weekly basis, that means about 400 passengers end up staying longer,” Fountain said.

Job recruiting under way

Under Fountain, whose office is in Honolulu, a destination services division will be established on Maui. Fountain is eager to hire full- and part-time employees to serve as pier check-in staff, airport greeters and supervisors.

A recent job fair at Aloha Tower Marketplace’s Pier 11 on July 8-9 was conducted in anticipation of staffing needs for the company’s new ship, the MS Patriot, and to beef up the staff of the Independence. American Hawaii Cruises recruited for just about every type of position imaginable: administration, front office staff, management, a controller, guest relations, food and beverage staff of all levels, porters, gift shop and excursion staff, launders and entertainers. It is looking to fill every position that a top-notched, land-based hotel would need, and then some – seamen, boatswains, mates, engineers and marine maintenance personnel.

Maui’s gain of the Independence does not exactly translate into Honolulu’s loss. There will be a short lapse between the Indy’s move to Kahului on Nov. 11 and launching of the Patriot’s inter-island service from Honolulu Harbor a month later on Dec. 9. Add to that the fact that American Classic Voyages has begun construction of the first of two 1,900- passenger liners, to be completed in 2003, with the second expected to be completed in 2004. (See accompanying story).

Once completed, the two ships, which will be operated in Hawaii, will be the largest ever built in the United States.

These new ships, the recent refurbishment of the Independence, and construction projects at various harbors, comprise the nearly $1 billion investment American Classic Voyages is making in Hawaii.

Chicago-based American Classic Voyages is the parent company of American Hawaii Cruises and United States Lines.

Philip Calian, chief executive officer of American Classic Voyages, spoke July 6 at the Hawaii Chamber of Commerce’s annual meeting.

According to Calian, the cruise industry has grown at a compounded rate of 9% per year over the past 30 years. Despite that, only 6 million Americans have actually been on a cruise – out of a potential market of 46 million. While only 1% of Hawaii visitors cruise, 22% of the visitors to the Caribbean cruise and 44% of Alaska’s visitors take a cruise.

There’s growth potential here in Hawaii, and American Hawaii Cruises wants to be ready for it.


Construction begins on largest U.S.-built cruise ship

American Classic Voyages Co. launched construction on June 30 for the largest U.S.-built cruise ship, which will sail exclusively in the Hawaiian Islands. The vessel is being fabricated at Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula, Miss. as a result of the U.S.-flag Cruise Ship Pilot Project Statute passed in 1997.

It is one of two 72,000-ton passenger ships to be built for Hawaii service under a contract between AMCV and Ingalls that has a potential value of $1.4 billion. The contract includes an option to build a third ship.

The first ship is expected to go into service in 2003, with the twin vessel completed the following year. Each will accommodate 1,900 passengers and will sail under the banner of AMCV subsidiary United States Lines. United States Lines also will introduce the 1,212-passenger MS Patriot (formerly Holland America Lines’ Nieuw Amsterdam) in Hawaii on December 9, 2000.










A tale of two tunnels: State project afloat while city plan sinks

by Paula Gillingham Bender

Dead in the water. That appears to be the prognosis for the City and County of Honolulu plans for the Sand Island Scenic Parkway. It was just a few months ago that the city announced its intent to expand the project, which sported an estimated price tag of $450 million.

Those in the maritime industry are relieved, however, that the state’s plans to raze the Sand Island bridge over the Kalihi Channel and sink a tunnel in its place are still on the drawing board.

The city’s three-mile parkway project included expanding the Sand Island Bridge from four to six lanes if the state’s proposed tunnel did not materialize. Also included was a second tunnel at the mouth of Honolulu Harbor, linking Sand Island with Fort Armstrong, and an offramp from the H-1 Freeway.

The City Council had approved the Transportation Services Department’s requests for environmental impact statements to the tune of several hundred thousand dollars.  Sand Island Scenic Parkway, including the tunnel, was to be designed and constructed over five years. To pay for the project, city Transportation Services Director Cheryl Soon had looked at various funding strategies.

Despite several efforts to reach her during the week of July 17th, Hawaii Ocean Industry’s calls to Soon were unanswered.

David Atkin, a project consultant with Parsons Brinckerhoff, said the city project  was “indefinitely postponed,” and referred all questions to Toru Hamayasu,  the Transportation Services Department’s Chief Planner.

Said Hamayasu, “You can’t really say the city proposed the [Fort Armstrong] tunnel. It was really just in discussion. It’s in the very preliminary stages.”

This was a surprise to Clint Taylor, manager of public affairs and business development for CSX Lines. Since 1996, Taylor has been involved with the development of the Oahu Commercial Harbors 2020 Master Plan. According to Taylor, after a time, Soon’s city program was designed to blend with the 2020 plan. Taylor said 2020 meetings included all segments of Hawaii’s maritime industry, including cargo operators, passenger cruise ships, fishing boats, ship repair firms, ocean tourism companies and ocean research organizations.

“We sat around the table with the state departments – including Harbors, boating and the Hawaii Community Development Authority through 1995-96 and signed off on a plan in March 1997,” Taylor said. “We determined that the most important thing for the harbors was to have sufficient container yard space so Hawaii’s economy could grow.”

Opening Kalihi Channel to ship traffic was another priority project identified by the maritime community.

Kalihi Channel study underway

Still in the preliminary study stages by the Army Corps of Engineers, plans are to dredge Kalihi Channel deep enough to place a prefabricated tube that’s big enough to convey heavy commercial traffic. A similar project was completed in Austin, Texas, with much success according to Taylor.

One of the reasons the Sand Island bridge is not a drawbridge is that it would slow down, if not halt traffic. And building a bridge high enough for ships to pass under it is out of the question. The bridge is too close to the airport and nothing can be built higher than 150 feet from the ground there.

As proposed in the Oahu Commercial Harbors 2020 Master Plan, the tunnel will transform Honolulu Harbor into one with both an entrance and an exit. Ships would enter through Fort Armstrong Channel, the mouth of Honolulu Harbor. Instead of having to turn around, the ships could exit through Kalihi Channel.

Improvements to Honolulu Harbor – proposed by either the state or the city – are welcome.

“From my perspective, both as chairman of the Hawaii Chamber of Commerce maritime committee and as an employee of the maritime industry, it doesn’t make sense to have only one access,” said Kraig Kennedy, executive vice president at McCabe Hamilton & Renny Co. Ltd. “More than 98% of [the state’s] commerce depends on that harbor. To not have a second entrance is a concern. We have gone on record on that point.”

Agreeing with Kennedy, CSX’s Taylor said Honolulu’s “cul-de-sac” harbor is an invitation for disaster. There’s the turning basin in front of Aloha Tower Marketplace. The major cargo piers, Piers 51-53, are at the other end of Kapalama Channel. Ships have to wait out in the ocean for a chance to come into the harbor. And for CSX , whose largest ship is 917-feet long, there’s another problem.

“That ship has to turn around in an 1,100-foot diameter turning basin. When it gets windy it is really hairy,” Taylor said. “We do it. But it is sometimes a tricky maneuver. And dangerous, too.”  There are other safety concerns, as well.

“If an accident or a terrorist act were to occur at the front of the harbor, Hawaii couldn’t receive ships and we would starve,” Taylor said. “From a security and survival standpoint, and an improved traffic-flow standpoint, a tunnel under the Kalihi Channel is necessary.”

Fred Nunes, engineering program manager for the state Department of Transportation-Harbors Division, said the state’s plans are just in the preliminary stages and that studies by the Army Corps of Engineers are just now getting underway to evaluate the feasibility of building an underwater tunnel.

A second study is investigating the widening and reconfiguration of the Kalihi Channel turning basin.









Na Wahine O Ke Kai (Women of the Ocean)

by Monica M. Madrigal

Who are Stephanie Moana Doi, Jennifer Coffey, Donna “Kahi” Kahakui, and the late Rell Sunn — And why should your daughter know who they are?  They are, respectively, the first female navigator of the Hokule’a, the captain of Trilogy I, the long-distance paddler, and the first female lifeguard in Hawaii.

From navigating Hokule’a, sailing catamaran tours, paddling a one-person canoe from the Big Island to Oahu to being the first female lifeguard, these are the women who helped pave the way in Hawaii for young girls to participate in non-traditional careers and sports.

As the Hokule’a recently celebrated its 25th anniversary by sailing 7,500 miles with female navigators on board for the first time, it is a good time to reflect on how far women in non-traditional careers have come in Hawaii.  These women are Hawaii’s “women of the ocean.”

Sailing is not just “a man’s world” anymore, no ma’am!  Of the 50 some odd boat charter companies on Maui, there are only a handful of female captains.  Until as recently as ten years ago, female captains in the boating industry were almost unheard of.

Captain Jennifer Coffey of Trilogy Excursions is one of them.  Just what does it take to be a licensed female captain in Hawaii?  For starters, it takes 727 days at sea and a series of written tests with the US Coast Guard.  It also takes courage to be one of the only women in a predominantly male profession and not be intimidated.

Out of 30 test takers, Captain Jennifer was the only female applying for her 100 ton license.  “It didn’t bother me to be the only female applying for my license,” says Jennifer.  “Since I’m the only daughter of five children, I’m used to being the only girl competing with the boys.  I was always included in the sports my brothers played and the rough-housing that went along with it.  Growing up with them taught me early on that I could do anything they could do.  It doesn’t take a lot of muscles to be a good boat handler; just some talent, finesse, and knowledge of the vessel.”

Jennifer Coffey is not the only captain in her family; her husband, Jeremiah, is also one.  She was originally hired by him as crew.  She says, “I feel really lucky to have someone be my teacher who’s been in the business for 15 years.  He is a great inspiration to me and has helped me become a good captain.”

As one of the senior captains for Trilogy, you can find Captain Jennifer Coffey sailing Trilogy’s most prestigious tour, the Discover Lana’i Adventure.  She sails to Lana’i four days a week aboard the 65-foot sloop-rigged catamaran, Trilogy I.  It is not unusual for her to get numerous compliments a day from passengers who have enjoyed their trip to Lana’i with their humorous and knowledgeable captain. “Her love for the ocean and for her job really shine through in her wit and humor,” says visitor Amy Moynihan.

The year 2000 not only celebrates a new millennium, it is also a celebration of Hawaii’s culture and the extraordinary women of the islands who are making their way in non-traditional careers and sports  because of their love and respect for the ocean and for what they do. 


Monica Madrigal is the public relations director for Gilbert & Associates on Maui.







One fast lube

What Crowley Marine Services originally planned as a 21-day ABS drydocking on the West Coast for its American Salvor became a compressed 11-day maintenance and repair job in Hawaii when the 213-foot salvage vessel was unexpectedly summoned for a job at Midway.

The Salvor had been in American Samoa, removing 9 fishing vessels that went aground some years ago during a hurricane. On its way back to Portland, Oregon, the ship made a stop at Kalaeloa/Barbers Point Harbor only to find that it required internal structural repairs before it could leave the Islands.

When the U.S. Coast Guard asked Crowley to help with an urgent salvage job at Midway, the company initially had to turn it down. The Navy’s USS Salvor also was unavailable, however, so the request went back to Crowley.  Given a two-week window to complete the maintenance and repair work, the company moved its scheduled drydock to Marisco with an accelerated 11-day timetable. The work included 11,000 pounds of internal steel repairs, tail shaft work, an overhaul of the two main engines, sand-blasting and painting the hull, said John Stewart, Marisco’s administration manager.

This was the first time a Crowley vessel had been docked in Hawaii in a long time, according to the company. Marisco “performed well and at a reasonable cost, competitive with West Coast pricing,” said a company official who supervised the job.

The American Salvor’s unique capabilities have brought Crowley Marine several salvage jobs in the Pacific Basin recently. It is equipped with special winches that have the capacity to produce a million pounds of pull, allowing it to literally drag a ship off the reef. The vessel also has its own helipad and decompression chamber, and can support a large number of salvage divers and support crew. 







Regulatory News

Proposed safety regs for commercial fishing vessels could impact Hawaii’s recreational fisherman

In recent months, the U.S. Coast Guard conducted “listening sessions” across the country to present and receive feedback on a draft Commercial Fishing Vessel Safety Action Plan. The plan was developed in response to an alarming number of casualties recently experienced by the commercial fishing industry nationwide.

  • Among the action plan’s recommended changes to the safety rules:

  • Improved enforcement of required emergency preparedness drills

  • Mandatory fishing vessel safety examinations to evaluate structural and watertight integrity

  • Mandatory training based certificate program (which is now voluntary)

Hawaii was not originally included in the seven scheduled sessions, but the Hawaii Operational Safety Team (HOST), with help from the local Coast Guard District 14, held its own session on July 13 to present local feedback. Of key concern to local interests is the “uniqueness” of Hawaii’s fishing community, which includes many recreational/part-time commercial fishermen.

They may only occasionally sell their catch, explains Bill Mossman, director of the Hawaii Boaters Political Action Association, “but are swept into the commercial fishing category by merely selling one fish, and therefore must also comply with these rules.”

Of the 15,481 vessels registered in the State of Hawaii, 13,900 are registered under the category of “pleasure,” notes Mossman. It is estimated that 13,000 of these recreational vessels are involved in subsistence, part-time commercial or full-time commercial fishing. Only 1,700 have declared their commercial intent by purchasing commercial marine licenses, according to the state Department of Land and Natural Resources.

The other 11,300 fish mainly on a subsistence basis, with as many as 10,000 fisherman occasionally selling part of the catch to make “expense money.”

“Those fishermen, who were brought up in a society that always allowed the sale, trade or barter of part of a recreational catch, take exception to the Coast Guard enforcement effort that essentially forces them to become commercial if they sell but one fish, and punishes them for practicing their traditional rights,” Mossman says. “Being forced into the commercial category would require them to meet the same standards developed for the full-time commercial fishermen.”

While improved safety rules are understandable given the hazards associated with operating heavy-duty equipment on stereotypical commercial vessels – trawlers, longliners, seiners, draggers, etc. – the casualty rate for Hawaii’s recreational/part-time fishing vessels is historically low.

It is hoped that these vessels will be provided an exemption from these regulations, allowing fishermen a limited sale of their catch while maintaining a recreational vessel status.










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

The fishing vessel Swordman I grounded on the SE corner of Pearl & Hermes Atoll, located approximately 90NM SE of Midway Atoll.  All five crewmembers onboard were rescued with no injuries, but the vessel was considered a total loss.  An unknown amount of diesel fuel leaked into the ocean.  Salvage and clean up operations were completed, awaiting removal of vessel off of reef.

The USS Denver and USNS Yukon collided approximately 180 NM west of Oahu while preparing to refuel at sea. The Denver, an amphibious/troop transport ship, was approaching the Yukon, a Military Sealift Command (MSC) tanker, to take waiting station prior to the operation. The Yukon was hit on the starboard aft side along the flight deck and hull by Denver’s bow.  Both vessels received extensive damage.  The Denver’s bow had a gaping hole from the waterline to 25 ft high and approximately the same distance towards the aft.  The hull of the Yukon was penetrated and seriously buckled from aft of the superstructure and along the entire flight deck.  The Denver was fixed temporarily and sailed back to its homeport in San Diego. The Yukon, homeported at Pearl Harbor, is currently undergoing repairs. The Yukon has a crew of 60 civilians and 20 Navy personnel.  The US Navy and Coast Guard are still investigating the cause of the accident.











International Marine Debris Conference. Hawaii Convention Center, Honolulu. Sponsored by NOAA’s Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary, the conference aims to examine the sources, impacts and solutions for dealing with derelict fishing gear in the Pacific. Registration information: (808) 875-2317 or email

National Beach Preservation Conference. Royal Lahaina Resort, Maui. Experts on coastal erosion, beach restoration and resource management. Sponsored by American Shore and Beach Preservation Assn., UH Sea Grant College Program, and others. Information: Rob Mullane (808) 984-3254 or email

Monthly Hawaii Operational Safety Team (HOST) meeting. 1-4 pm. Club 14 on CG Base Sand Island. Contact: Lt. Mark Willis (808) 522-8264, ext. 351.

CEROS Information Exchange. The National Defense Center of Excellence In Ocean Sciences sponsors this informational meeting to prepare companies for submitting research proposals for the upcoming year. 9 am - 1:30 pm. Ilikai Hotel, Waikiki. FREE. For reservations call Jacquie Brewbaker (808) 327-4310 or email

 Transportation of Hazardous Material training course. Sponsored by National Cargo Bureau Inc. 8 am–4 pm both days. Fee. To register, call: (808) 836-7799.


Transportation of Hazardous Material training course. Sponsored by National Cargo Bureau Inc. 8 am–4 pm both days. Fee. To register, call: (808) 836-7799.

Marine and Coastal Zone Management Advisory Group (MACZMAG) meeting. 9-11 am. State Office Tower Rm. 204. Contact: Susan Feeney (808) 587-2880.


Monthly Hawaii Operational Safety Team (HOST) meeting. 1-4 pm. Club 14 on CG Base Sand Island. Contact: Lt. Mark Willis (808) 522-8264, ext. 351.

To have your meeting or event listed, please send information to the editor at least four weeks prior to publication.







Anne Stevens was named general manager of NORTON LILLY HAWAII INC./KERR NORTON MARINE, the largest US-owned ship agency. The former Coast Guard officer joined the company in 1996 and was promoted in 1999 to the position of marine manager. Stevens spent 12 years in the Coast Guard, including a tour in Hawaii in search-and-rescue operations before moving to the private sector.  She is an active member of the local maritime community and serves on board of directors of the Hawaii Operational Safety Team (HOST).

MATSON NAVIGATION COMPANY promoted J. Keahi Birch to the newly created position of manager, safety and environmental affairs, Hawaii. She will be responsible for the development and administration of the safety and environmental programs for the company and its subsidiaries in Hawaii. Birch joined Matson Terminals, Inc. in 1993 and most recently held the position of supervisor, ship planning.

Fourteen employees of EXPEDITIONS, the passenger ferry service between Lahaina, Maui, and Manele Harbor on Lanai, have purchased the company, a year after its owner and CEO Craig Newnan passed away. The new corporate officers are Bill Caldwell, vice president and fleet operations manager; Nancy Hoffner, secretary and management director; Ken Christopher , treasurer and chief engineer; and Steve Knight, president and general manager. The ferry now carries more than 10,000 passengers a month, making five round trips daily. 






News Briefs

Wikiwiki Ferry starts Pearl Harbor trials

The state Department of Transportation launched the second phase of its intra-island commuter ferry demonstration project in July with service between Pearl Harbor’s Middle Loch and Honolulu Harbor. The first phase provided service between Kalaeloa/Barbers Point Harbor and Honolulu.

The second phase began with service from Middle Loch at 6:30 a.m., arriving at Aloha Tower at 7:30 a.m. with a return ferry departing Aloha Tower at 5:15 p.m. A shuttle service also picks up and drops off passengers at various points on both ends of the ferry route.

 At press time, the DOT was still negotiating with the Navy to move the Pearl Harbor pick-up site to Iroquois Point beginning August 7. The new location, which would require a floating dock, provides a shorter commute time to Aloha Tower and would allow two morning departures and two afternoon returns.

Passengers have been riding free until August 4, after which time a one-way ticket will cost $1.50. The service is tentatively scheduled to run through September.

The year-long, $4 million project, which began last October in partnership with Pacific Marine, is aimed at studying the economic viability of a ferry system to help alleviate commuter traffic between Leeward Oahu and downtown Honolulu.

Public access boat ramp opens at Ko Olina

The Ko Olina Community Association opened a new public access boat launch ramp at the new Ko Olina Marina on July 11. The ramp, which is part of a $1 million improvement project at Ko Olina’s lagoon 4, is open daily between sunrise and sunset. Thirty stalls, together with new showers and restroom facilities are available for boat ramp users. Overnight parking is available for vehicles with trailers.

A reservation system has been implemented to insure trailer parking availability. Boaters should call (808) 679-1050.

The 270-slip Ko Olina Marina on Oahu’s west shore opened in March and accommodates boats up to 150 feet in length. Facilities include a full-service fuel dock, marina store, utilities and other amenities.

Jones Act auto carrier to be built for Hawaii/W. Coast trade

The Pasha Group and Van Ommeren Shipping (USA) LLC have signed a $70-million contract to build a modern, Jones Act Pure Car and Truck Carrier (PCTC) that will serve the Hawaii/West Coast trade. The Maritime Administration confirmed a Title XI financial guarantee to construct the new vessel, which will be built at Halter Marine’s shipyard in Pascagoula, Miss.“Based on our research,” said George W. Pasha, IV, president and CEO of Pasha Hawaii Transport Lines LLC, “there is widespread support in the Hawaii/Mainland Roll On-Roll Off shipping community for a Pure Car and Truck Carrier-type vessel in this trade. The vessel also will be enrolled in the military’s Voluntary Intermodal Sealift Agreement, and will be eligible to carry Department of Defense-sponsored vehicles and rolling stock.”

PHTL is a joint venture between The Pasha Group, a California-based automobile handling and logistics company, and Van Ommeren, a Connecticut-based ship owner.

The 13,000-DWT vessel will be able to carry more than 4,000 automobiles, buses, trucks, and/or other large and oversize Ro/Ro type traffic. The new vessel’s design will incorporate a total of 10 decks, with three hoistable and three strong decks, and a 100-ton stern ramp.

New CSX container chassis for Hawaii

CSX Lines is spending $1 million to purchase more than 130 new Hyundai chassis that will be delivered to the company’s Sand Island container terminal this September.  The purchase will increase CSX’s chassis fleet by more than 10 percent.

“Hawaii has experienced an economic turnaround over the past 12 months, with container volumes increasing over the previous year after eight years of economic stagnation,” said Brian Taylor, vice president and general manager of CSX Lines’ Hawaii/Guam division. 






Just the Facts: Hawaii’s Fishing Future

The recent federal court ruling affecting Hawaii’s longline fishery has caused many to wonder if Hawaii has or should have a future in commercial fishing. Like most emotional issues, the controversy has created more heat than light. Consider these facts:

1. Hawaii’s longline fleet currently lands 28 million pounds of fish annually, of which approximately 12 million is exported to the mainland, Japan and Europe.

2. Honolulu ranks 5th in the nation in value of landings.

3. The longline industry provides 2,000 jobs and over $150 million each year to the state’s economy.

4. The Hawaii longline fleet represents only 3% of the Pacific-wide fishing activities and about 6% of the fishing efforts in its designated area of operations.

5. The Hawaii fleet is the most heavily regulated longline fleet in the Pacific. Current rules include:

  • A statewide limit of 164 longline fishing permits

  • No fishing within 50-75 miles of the main Hawaiian Islands

  • No fishing within 50 miles of the northwest Hawaiian Islands

  • Mandatory satellite vessel tracking

  • Mandatory federal logbooks

  • Mandatory observer coverage

  • Mandatory participation in protected species workshops

  • Mandatory seabird mitigation by using special baits and poles to deter birds

  • Maximum vessel size that is not larger than 100 feet

Should the Hawaii longline fleet be shut down as a precaution to protect endangered Pacific sea turtles? Consider the facts:

1. The plaintiff and defendant in the present case are on the record in court as agreeing that total closure of the Hawaii fleet will have no measurable effect on the future of Pacific sea turtles.

 2. Responsible scientists agree that closure of the Hawaii fleet will actually have a negative effect on turtles for two reasons. One, valuable data and research provided by Hawaii’s fleet will be lost and two, the foreign fleets filling the void will likely produce higher turtle mortalities.

3. In the Hawaii fleet’s area of operation, foreign longliners outnumber Hawaii vessels by a 16 to 1 ratio! These vessels are not affected by U.S. law or any equivalent of the Endangered Species Act.

4. Currently, $3 million worth of Pacific pelagic research is supported by data from the Hawaii fleet. In addition, the National Marine Fisheries Service is building a $40 million lab facility at the University of Hawaii dedicated to research in our region.

It seems that no one likes extractive industry, but they want the products it creates. Don’t drill holes in the permafrost, just fill up my SUV. Don’t chop down trees, just build my house. Don’t mine coal, just keep me warm. Don’t go longlining, just give me the ahi.

Extractive industries are usually dominated by a few large corporations with resources to convince the public of their stewardship. Fishing is a group of small business people who work very hard to make Hawaii’s seafood industry a success. They are independent, highly focused and highly skilled, but with a limited knowledge of how the public perceives their industry.

Should fishing have a future in Hawaii? Without a doubt. Its benefits to the state far outweigh the negatives.

Will fishing have a future in Hawaii? Not without a concentrated effort by the industry to educate the public while working with government and conservation groups to reduce negative impacts on the environment.


Jim Cook is president of Pacific Ocean Producers and immediate past chairman of the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council.

Hawaii Ocean Industry provides this space as a forum to express viewpoints on Hawaii’s ocean industry.


© 2002 Hawaii Ocean Industry