Thousands of fish have been literally drowning in molasses following a spill of 1,400 tons of the thick sugary liquid, with a lot more deaths expected according to Gary Gill, deputy director of Hawaii’s Department of Health.
Since the molasses is heavier than the seawater, it is sinking to bottom spreading far and wide suffocating marine life beneath the surface since it is unable to carry oxygen as well as water does. In fact, one diver surveying the scene said "everything down there is dead."
Unfortunately, there is no way for anyone to clean up the mess, which is expected to have a long-lasting impact on the environment that will change the marine community in the area drastically according to experts who surmise that the “ nutrient-rich molasses could also feed a bloom of bacteria and algae, and the dead animals could start to rot and spread harmful bacteria. In addition, the DOH expects to see a large increase in the amount of predators such as sharks, eels and barracuda in local waters as they gather to feed off the dead fish.
The massive spill (enough to fill seven railroad cars) occurred water a corroded pipe leaked while Matson Navigation Co. (which transports a wide variety of goods for shipping) was transferring the molasses from its storage tanks to ships in Honolulu Harbor.
“We just never planned for a spill,” noted Matson senior Vice President Vic Angoco, who said his company had been shipping molasses there for more than thirty years.
The of molasses is reported to be moving with the tides and currents from the harbor into Keehi Lagoon, where it is expected to dissipate into the Pacific Ocean.
For a related article see http://www.examiner.com/article/masses-of-animal-carcasses-continue-to-f...