No Parasailing on Kaua’iTo the Forum:

You reported in the May 21 issue of the Garden Island about a public meeting

held in Kekaha concerning a state proposal to introduce commercial parasailing

to Kaua’i. Another meeting had already been held in Koloa and the public

response was essentially the same; overwhelming rejection of the

proposal.

As a professional ecologist, I presented information at the first

meeting concerning the danger this commercial activity presents to the marine

animals in the waters off Kaua’i.

The state has proposed banning

parasailing during the period of Dec. 15 to May 15 because of the recognized

danger to the Humpback whales. This rule is already imposed on parasailing

around the other islands. The whale watching tourist industry developing on the

south shore knows that whales are here in the waters of Kaua’i much earlier

than December are still being seen late in May.

We are most fortunate, due

to conservation efforts, to have populations of two other endangered species

around Kaua’i. The green sea turtle is now common in the waters of the south

shore and breeds in the spring and summer. Nesting has been reported for

Allerton Beach and it probably occurs elsewhere. Baby turtles hatch from the

sand in the fall. The period from May to December should be closed to

parasailing to protect the turtles.

The Hawaiian monk seal is another

endangered species that breeds on Kaua’i. In fact, a pup was just born this

month on Kaua’i. This species breeds year-round in Hawaiian waters, with most

activity in the spring and summer. Monk seals are now frequent visitors to

south shore beaches and are in grave danger of being hit by speeding

boats.

Both monk seals and turtles have already been found with propeller

scars across their backs.

While towing passengers behind their boats,

parasailing operators cannot maneuver or stop quick enough to avoid these

endangered species. This new commercial activity should not be permitted on

Kaua’i at any time of year.

I ask your readers to contact Lynn McCrory,

our Board of Land & Natural Resources representative, or Gov. Cayetano and

ask that parasailing not be permitted on Kaua’i.

Carl J. Berg,

Ph.D.

Kilauea

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