Saturday, October 13, 2001

On Kauai's east shore, salvage contractors D.C. Carter
of Honolulu, left, and Barry Brun of Kapaa yesterday
rigged a mass of buried fishing net to a winch as part of
a $750,000, five-day removal of derelict netting. The
cleanup is expected to bring in 16 to 20 tons of such debris.

Tesoro collects derelict
nets on Kauai

By Anthony Sommer

LIHUE >> Tesoro Hawaii expects to collect about 16 tons of derelict fishing nets from Kauai's shoreline by the time it finishes a five-day cleanup project tomorrow.

By yesterday, the oil company had filled two shipping containers, each holding about 4 tons of netting. Two more containers were waiting.

The cleanup is covering about 20 miles of the island's shoreline.

Most of the heavy nets drifted to Kauai from fishing boats off of Asia and Alaska. Derelict nets are found throughout the Hawaiian islands.

Dave Hoffman, Tesoro's environmental manager, said the synthetic nets will be sent back to Asia to be recycled as consumer products such as raincoats.

The cleanup is part of a settlement agreement reached by Tesoro with the state and federal governments to resolve a lawsuit stemming from the Aug. 24, 1998, rupture of an oil line at Tesoro's mooring point offshore of Barbers Point on Oahu.

Almost 5,000 gallons of oil were carried by the prevailing currents to Kauai and tar balls forced the temporary closure of several popular beaches.

Tesoro paid $2.5 million to clean up the spill. The oil company agreed to spend $750,000 on this week's collection of derelict fishing nets.

This week's cleanup involved concurrent efforts by divers working from a ship on the offshore reefs and a crew on the beaches using a crane to pull the nets out of the sand

State and federal officials are monitoring the cleanup. John Naughton of the National Marine Fisheries Service said priority is being given to nets that are capable of ensnaring turtles and Hawaiian monk seals.

Aerial surveys of Kauai waters also located a large number of heavy ropes that have drifted to the island. Naughton said the cleanup is bypassing those because they present less of a hazard to marine life than the derelict nets.

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