Superferry threatens Hana subsistence resources

Though I have been following the Superferry issue in the news and other blogs, I haven't been posting on it (except for this one on its "considerable military utility" - see a related MN letter today), but I want to highlight this Maui News article today, about the court testimony of Kema Kanaka'ole from Hana, discussing "fears that travelers on the Hawaii Superferry might affect his subsistence lifestyle in East Maui."
We don't want people to come into Hana and just raid the area," said Kema Kanaka'ole, a 31-year-old Hana resident and member of the East Maui Resource Management Hui.
Kanaka'ole was limited to speaking only about his concerns, although he did tell Cardoza that his fears are shared by others East Maui residents.

"The whole side of East Maui is backing me up," he said. "The people of Hana are scared right now of the effects."

I just want to say that Kema is absolutely right. Concern about this is very widespread and deep out here. People depend on these resources to feed their families. While Kema describes their educational efforts, there are already tensions even with those coming from the other side of the island, and if O'ahu folks think they can just drive in to Hana, load up their coolers with resources they hunt, fish and gather for the weekend, and drive back to O'ahu, there are going to be serious problems. Better to discuss these as part of the environmental review process before the Stuperferry starts, if it does.

And anyone who doubts this is a real concern just needs to note this Maui News report from Wednesday (and related letter today) that on the ferry's very first run, three truckloads of rocks were already picked up with the intention of being returned illegally to O'ahu. If these trucks had not been stranded at the docks on Maui, their loads might not have been checked and they may have returned to O'ahu without notice.

As Lee Cataluna says in her column today:
What's the worst thing that can happen when Superferry officials are trying to prove that they are a benign, even beneficial, presence on the Neighbor Islands, and when O'ahu people are seething at the insulting suggestion that they might go Neighbor Island and steal stuff?

Some thieves could go Neighbor Island and steal stuff. Aiyah.

The point is that no one thought of this ahead of time.

Well, folks out here thought of it. The point is that the Stuperferry officials, whether they thought of it or not, did nothing to address, mitigate and prevent it ahead of time, and the very first and only run to Maui proved the concern to be very real indeed.

Posted: Fri - September 14, 2007 at 12:53 PM    
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Published On: Sep 14, 2007 03:29 PM
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