DAR assessing coral damages from Hulakai’s double groundings

DAR divers recording coral damages
DAR divers are recording coral damages from Hulukai’s groundings

January 27, 2017

Division of Aquatic Resources,DAR arrived at Kawaihae Harbor late morning to assess the damages to the coral reef resulting from Hulakai’s double groundings.

The Hulakai’s second grounding caused more damages to live corals then its first grounding. Large areas were leveled to rubble as the sailboat dragged on its anchor and ended on the reef just north of where it was on Sunday January 22,2017.

Visibility of the water was better so we were able to see bits and pieces of broken live corals mixed in the rubble.

Broken mound coral
Broken mound coral
DCIM101GOPRO
Shattered Mound Coral Colony

The groundings added more stress to this reef that is still recovering from the Global Bleaching Event in 2015,  and when heavy sediment from the flash floods  August 2015 covered 90%-95% of it.

DAR Lindsey Kramer repositions broken coral

DAR Lindsey Kramer is relocating  coral broken by Hulukai’s mast

The fact that DAR was notified by me and not by agencies overseeing the Kawaihae Harbor: DOT and DOBAR three days afterward , suggests several things: the reporting of a grounding on coral reef in a DOT harbor is not important enough to contact DAR, and or DOT officials are not aware of corals in their harbor.  Either way,  DOT  has a responsibility to do a better job of reporting groundings within their jurisdiction, and  Hukakai’s Owner is responsible for the damages.

The mast was removed on evening of January 28,2017. I need to see  its removal’s impact on the coral.

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