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
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
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,