I was very reluctant to write on this very controversial subject so bear with me in writing an opinionated (for BOTH sides) post regarding the Hawaii Superferry. There are two sides to every story just as there are two sides to this one and it will be a debatable subject no matter how it is discussed because of the views and opinions by different environmental groups and Hawaii residents.
The Hawaii Superferry had launched on August 26, 2007 but the Superferry was stopped the next day by Maui Circuit Court Judge Joseph Cardoza until he rules whether the Superferry can still operate while a environmental assessment is being done. On Kauai the service was stopped indefinitely because of safety concerns from the anti ferry protests.
Ah! The Pro’s and Con’s of a decision that could affect our environment, upset or kill the endangered humpback whale in Hawaii and cause more heartache than it may be worth. On the other hand it could bring in more revenue for our state, make an alternate method of transportation for not only the tourists but for residents who need to commute to other islands for business as well.
Let’s first look at the Negative impact it may have on traveling from island to island:
- Traffic concerns for the islands that the Superferry is traveling to. Additional traffic created by the Superferry around the areas in each harbor would be extensive.
- The spread of invasive species No vehicle inspection or removal procedures were in place for plants, coqui frogs or other invasive species trying to hitch rides from island to island on the vehicles being transported by the Superferry.
- Potential collisions with humpback whales The Superferry needs to operate at 37 knots (43 mph) and marine mammal experts say 15 knots to reduce the risk of injury to whales if they are hit.
- Negative Impact on Emotions created with the residents of the islands because there was no environmental assessment done before the Superferry arrived. (this has been in planning for SIX years)
The Positive impact the Superferry may have for our islands:
- After the September 11th terrorist attack it was evident that our Hawaiian islands were dependent on air flight and needed an alternative to transportation from island to island
- Great alternative to those who do not like to fly in airplanes and would like their car to travel with them
- For Hawaii residents who commute from island to island for business while in the comfort of their own automobiles while riding around or maybe just an overnight trip.
Hawaii Residents who want to go fishing off other islands and take their boats with them or go camping (and take their gear with them)
- Additional Revenue and jobs for Hawaii’s residents.
And I could go on and on for both sides here but the bottom lines here are that there is a Decision Expected Today on Hawaii Superferry by the Maui Court to see if the Hawaii Superferry can operate while an Environmental Assessment is done and the Hawaii Superferry Warns It Must Sail Soon – October 5, 2007 because it is losing $650,000 per week while it sits in Honolulu Harbor.
Though I am not a “seasoned” environmentalist I do know one thing. It has divided the residents of all islands with their views and emotional outbursts against other human beings. Yes, they are fighting for what they believe is right. That’s fine. But to be rude, violent and disruptive is not the Aloha Spirit. It is saddening to see that this whole subject resorted to this behavior (regardless what everyone’s opinion was) as described in USA Today article Surfer’s Block Hawaii Superferry. I do commend the Hawaii Superferry for stepping back and allowing the “process” to determine the fate/success of the Hawaii Superferry.