POSTED: Saturday, November 01, 2008

Shark fins found on fishing boat

The Coast Guard seized 15 pounds of shark fins Thursday aboard an American fishing vessel in the Cook Islands.

The 71-foot ship Pacific Horizon, home-ported in San Diego, was about 2,200 miles south of Hawaii when a Coast Guard boarding team and a law enforcement officer from the Cook Islands Ministry of Fisheries boarded it about 5 p.m. Thursday.

The team found shark fins aboard the boat, which is a violation of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act of 1996. The Coast Guard will transfer the shark fins to National Marine Fisheries Service, whose specialists will make a determination on whether a violation notice will be issued.

No other violations were found, the Coast Guard said, and the ship was allowed to continue its fishing trip.

The Coast Guard was able to board the vessel, even while in another country's Exclusive Economic Zone, due to a new agreement with the Cook Islands.


Ewa fire station breaks ground

Ewa Beach will get a new fire station after a groundbreaking ceremony yesterday for the Honolulu Fire Department's Ocean Pointe Fire Station.

The $6.5 million facility will replace the existing Pohakupuna Road station, which was built in 1954. The 10,000-square-foot facility will open in about two years.

The two-story station will house an engine company and a personal watercraft. The Fire Department also held a blessing ceremony for two new personal watercraft, donated by Haseko Inc., an Ocean Pointe community developer.


Mite dangerous to bees found

State agricultural workers Thursday found a varroa mite, a honey bee pest that can be deadly for bee colonies, in Hilo, a state Department of Agriculture news release said.

The mite was found among 50 bees caught in a baited trap within a few hundred yards of where the mite was first detected on the Big Island two months ago. Crews immediately began searching to destroy feral bee colonies in the area to prevent the mite from spreading.

State agricultural crews have been trapping and testing bees in an effort to eradicate the mite. Since they were first detected on the island in August, 45 mites have been found among more than 260,000 bees.

No varroa mites have been found in managed hives on the Big Island, the news release said.

Agriculture Department workers will continue collecting samples around the Big Island.

Hilo residents are asked to report wild beehives and bee swarms to the state's toll-free pest hot line at 643-PEST (7378). Bees or beekeeping equipment should not be moved in or out of a 15-mile radius of Hilo Bay.