Molokini boat tour facing $672,618 fine

Full story: The Honolulu Advertiser

The Shangri-La snorkel tour boat illegally enters 'Ahihi-Kina'u Natural Area Reserve, damaging coral heads with anchor.
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1 - 19 of 19 Comments Last updated Mar 29, 2008
Loser

Honolulu, HI

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#1
Jan 25, 2008
 
They need to take the fine money and give it to the passengers for going through such a cluster screw.
willie

Waterford, MI

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#2
Jan 25, 2008
 
Loser wrote:
They need to take the fine money and give it to the passengers for going through such a cluster screw.
Naw, they are "investing" it in the train to nowhere.
Cat Manapua

Saint George, UT

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#3
Jan 25, 2008
 
But...but...the whales were in danger!!
Mauian

Kaneohe, HI

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#4
Jan 25, 2008
 
The company should be assessed the maximum penalties under the law, whereby the incident will serve as a learning lesson for all. This is a very serious matter, but yet we don't hear the "environmentalist protestors" reacting on this company as they are with SUPER FERRY! Double standards eh?
samiam

Honolulu, HI

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#5
Jan 25, 2008
 
One of the core principles of sustainable development - the Precautionary "Polluter Pays Principle" is also a core principle of capitalism and thermodynamic equilibrium. This principle recognizes that the polluter should pay for any environmental damage created, and that the burden of proof in demonstrating that a particular product and/or service is safe should lie with the producer of the product, not the general public or the environment. 

One way to adequately implement the "polluter pays principle" in the real world makes use of "assurance bonds." Money put up by the potential "polluter" to insure against a worst case environmental impact (which should be rooted in a thermodynamic life cycle inventory, analysis, costing and design) of he reef. The bond would be recovered only if after sufficient time it had been demonstrated that the product and/or service in question had been deemed to be safe as was reasonably acceptable. Alternatively, if damage occurred, as in this case, the bond would be used for environmental restoration, and to pay damages to anyone who had been harmed. By allowing the bond to accrue interest, the "polluter" receives an incentive to ensure that best environmental practice is followed, and to demonstrate that the product and/or service is as safe as is practically possible, without involving excessive cost. A third-party NGO or community alliance would be the arbiter of the bond. 

This is a very compelling proposition because if the tour company, Maui Snorkel Charters Inc. of Kihei. made promises about their business practices when they received their license then they shouldn't be opposed to the assurance bond because it guarantees their promises will be met. This is a critical leverage point because it circumvents the "trust me" or "let's wait and see" dilemmas. 

The assurance bond fundamentally acknowledges two key points:
1) people are fallible
2) people can be self-interested to a point of being untrustworthy

It would look even more questionable in the publics eyes if there is push back on the "polluter pays" principle and associated assurance bond. And, of course, if they go for it you've covered your bases.
The tour company must see that they are not currently perceived as trustworthy, but rather than getting caught on the downside of that idea, the bond assures that the public and environment's best interests are covered.
hak

Lahaina, HI

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#6
Jan 25, 2008
 
What happened to the protestors on Maui. They should be near Molokini doing their damage on tourism like they are doing to the superferry. The Kauai protestors should get involved too. Make the State look bad and get into the news.
Soapbox

Honolulu, HI

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#7
Jan 25, 2008
 
Mauian wrote:
The company should be assessed the maximum penalties under the law, whereby the incident will serve as a learning lesson for all. This is a very serious matter, but yet we don't hear the "environmentalist protestors" reacting on this company as they are with SUPER FERRY! Double standards eh?
Try read the article kolea! The owners were cited for multiple idiocy damaging the reef numerous times through their witnessed actions. The funniest part is when someone sank their own boat. Then the sunken boat was dragged across the reef. Protest dummies?
Mark

Palo Alto, CA

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#8
Jan 25, 2008
 
I am a certified diver and am deeply saddened by this news. No matter how much they will pay in fines, it will never cover the the cost to replace the amount of damage to marine life lost. 80 years to recover, plus the fact that this damage was done in the most pristine area in the reef system! Their license should be revoked and tour groups should be awarded dive site locations on their merit of environment preservation, safety and customer satisfaction. Maui Snorkel Charters Inc. should now be demoted to the outer (less prestine) areas of the reef until they can prove that they can be a responsible tour charter.
In the end, ALL the dive and snorkel charters will now pay the price for the damage done by Maui Snorkel Charters.
Whimsey

Kaneohe, HI

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#9
Jan 25, 2008
 
Again government acting like they are coming to the rescue. What is money going to do for the reef ? I mean , come on, the boat went down and that is that. money will not do anything except inflate the government . Maybe with this money the local police can get the new LED light bars and maybe new tasers.
MauiDrummer

Honolulu, HI

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#10
Jan 25, 2008
 
Maui Dive Shop is a crock. My wife and I took an introductory scuba class thru them, and it was a total joke. They have no business operating any boats. They should stick to renting flippers to tourists.
MauiDrummer

Honolulu, HI

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#11
Jan 25, 2008
 
Mauian wrote:
This is a very serious matter, but yet we don't hear the "environmentalist protestors" reacting on this company as they are with SUPER FERRY! Double standards eh?
Nope. This was an ACCIDENT. There's nothing accidental about the SewerFerry, which is a deliberate, calculated plan to defraud the taxpayers for hundreds of millions of dollars.
ohaiboy

Wahiawa, HI

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#12
Jan 25, 2008
 
i agree with whimsey.

money won't bring the reef back. money spent on educating us about the reef won't stop dumb accidents from happening. so where is the money going?
BunnyRabbit

Pahoa, HI

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#13
Jan 25, 2008
 
Whimsey wrote:
Again government acting like they are coming to the rescue. What is money going to do for the reef ? I mean , come on, the boat went down and that is that. money will not do anything except inflate the government . Maybe with this money the local police can get the new LED light bars and maybe new tasers.
In this case it's not as much money for the state but making the negligent tour operator pay. I think they should have their boat use license taken away. Not giving the customers life vests? What? And the guy is going solo after three days? Sounds like the tour operator was totally incomeptent.

Would be nice if the money would go towards preservation and enforcement and not into general state coffers though.
alarmclock

Honolulu, HI

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#14
Jan 25, 2008
 
hak wrote:
What happened to the protestors on Maui. They should be near Molokini doing their damage on tourism like they are doing to the superferry. The Kauai protestors should get involved too. Make the State look bad and get into the news.
Isn't that a long way to paddle a surfboard or boogie board from Maui to protest? I know it would be pretty far from Kauai. Would they even see a sign held on Maui? But since you mention the Superferry, since coral is worth 600K plus, what will a whale be worth, if it's hit, say, when Superferry is going over the speed limit in the whale sanctuary? Just curious what a whale is worth these days.
give me a break

Kaneohe, HI

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#15
Jan 25, 2008
 
The boat getting into trouble is unexcusable, people "in/out of the water not even issued life jackets.

Who do they think they are, microsoft,(fixing a boat by long distance) I guess the mechanic wasn't from India.

But the sheer stupidity of the boats owner/operator/whoever to sink the boat, then do the up/down/drag plan should not only get fined but should "forever" lose his/their license to operate again PERIOD.....
Cat Manapua

Saint George, UT

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#16
Jan 25, 2008
 
Just be glad TheBoat doesn't go to Molokini.
DDC11

Princeville, HI

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#17
Jan 26, 2008
 
Maui Dive Shop should pay the maximum in fines. I have lived on Maui for years and am a scuba diver and I have never seen this company's name on sponsorship of any type of marine program. So that's where the fines should go.
This company and it's owners have always been so arrogant, most on Maui know that. Locals don't like them.....tourists don't know any better.
The company should not only pay the fines but I also believe their permits should be revoked, not just for one year, but permanently! They endangered the lives of the customers on board......That poor pregnant woman! And I wonder if there were any kids on board? To not provide them with life vests is totally unacceptable. Those customers should sue Maui Dive Shop.
I wonder how the other lawsuit against Maui Dive Shop is going....the one where they were being sued in Federal court by a woman and her son (who was 6 months at the time of the accident)? The woman's husband and father to their son was killed in 2004 when a customer of Maui Dive Shop's boat, the Alii Nui, drank on aboard the catamaran, then drove home and crashed into the husband (who was in his 30s) and killed him.
Maui Dive Shop should be fined.
Maui Dive Shop's permits to take charters out to our precious Molokini should be revoked permanently.
Maui Dive Shop should not be in business.
Shame on them!
local

AOL

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#18
Feb 15, 2008
 
Why is Maui Dive Shops boats still going to Molo!
they where there on 2/14/08 diving the carter. Guess they bought someone. And then hit the customers for the cost!!!!!
oncoMD

Arlington Heights, IL

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#19
Mar 29, 2008
 
It's all very sad, especially given it was multiple mistakes that caused the damage. I agree they should've had all their boat licenses revoked for Molokini. I did some research and found out:

Dan Polhemus, administrator of the state Division of Aquatic Resources in an interview with Christie Wilson in The Honolulu Advertiser, "The decision does not affect Maui Snorkel Charters' permits to operate three other vessels in the Molokini conservation district". WHY NOT?

That's why they're still there. Here's the link to the Hawaii Department of Natural Resources Division of Aquatic Resources report:http://hawaii.gov/dlnr/ chair/meeting/submittals/08012 5/F-DAR-Submittals-F5.pdf

Maybe this can separate fact from fiction.

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