#Yacht owners fined $100K for causing ‘extensive’ damage to Hawaiian coral reef

#Yacht owners fined $100K for causing ‘extensive’ damage to Hawaiian coral reef

September 5, 2020 | 5:25pm

The owners of a chartered yacht have been fined $100,000 after it dropped anchor during a cruise in Hawaii and damaged 11,000 square feet of coral beds that will take “years to recover,” according to a report in Vice.

The yacht, The Formosa — a 197-foot boat that rents for $474,000 per week — caused “extensive” damage to the Porites compressa coral bed in October 2018 when it dropped anchor in Kailua Bay and left the anchor chain swinging through the bed, the Division of Aquatic Resources biologist Nikki Smith told Vice.

“We could see where the anchor had impacted, but then there was a very clear radius of damage around that area where the anchor chain had swung around almost in a complete circle,” Smith told the website.

The affected area in Hawaii extends 11,000 square feet and will take “years to recover.” The charges amount to less than the cost of renting the yacht for two days.

The damage was further disheartening as the area had suffered extensive bleaching in 2015.

“This, on top of that bleaching damage, was definitely substantial and disheartening,” Smith told Vice. “It will take years to recover that area.”


The Formosa

Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources


Coral in Kailua Bay, Hawaii.

Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources


Coral in Kailua Bay, Hawaii.

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The fine on the Formosa, which is for sale for $41.5 million, amounts two days rental.

“Wealthy person owning a yacht, not paying attention to the local environment and doing damage, is something we should talk about,” Simon Donner, a geography professor with the University of British Columbia’s Institute of Oceans and Fisheries told the site. “What worries me is if the wealthy person also owns an oil company and is not doing anything serious about climate change.”

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