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Luxury yachts wreak havoc on coral reefs off Hawaii : Environment : Natural World News

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Nearby coral reefs have suffered more than 19,000 square feet of damage after a luxury yacht ran aground off the coast of Maui, Hawaii.

The Nakoa, a 94-foot boat, ran aground two weeks ago off the Honolua-MokulÄ”‘ia Bay Marine Life Sanctuary off the northwest coast of Maui and was rescued on March 5. The large vessel is now on the right track. Local wildlife was assessed and the results were not positive.

According to Russel Sparks, an aquatic biologist with the Department of Aquatic Resources (DAR), the first impact was when the boat ran aground, followed by scarring on the reef when the yacht was towed off the flat reef surface and into deeper water) – Hawaii Department of Land Resources. Sparks oversaw the assessment and evaluation of damaged coral reefs.

coral reef

Coral reefs have some of the highest biodiversity on Earth. They shelter a quarter of all fish species on Earth and protect coastlines from erosion and storms. According to the University of Hawaii, Hawaii’s eight main islands have more than 410,000 acres of living coral reefs that are home to more than 7,000 known species of aquatic plants and animals. 1,250 of these species are found only in Hawaiian reefs.

Damage over 19,000 square feet

According to the survey, a total of 19,434 square feet of live rock and damaged coral were found to have been disturbed by the yacht. The first 49 feet of visible damage, extending from the landing site to a depth of approximately 246 feet in the ocean, consists of two distinct scars resembling “trench-like” depressions.


It took more than two weeks to rescue the yacht from the shallow waters. The yacht was stranded in 800 feet of water due to severe damage to its hull.


The yacht damaged more than 19,000 square feet of live rock and coral, according to DAR. In addition, 19 coral colonies were destroyed or damaged.

In addition to this, attempts to tow the yacht into deeper waters have adversely affected more than 100 coral colonies and live rocks, Hole 2 reports.

maui news The salvage effort, estimated by the state to cost at least $460,000, will take about two weeks to complete, starting with the removal of fuel drums, batteries and other potentially hazardous materials from the yacht, according to reports. Bad weather and failed rigging repeatedly hampered attempts to remove it from the shoreline, forcing contractors to return to Oahu for more powerful machinery.

Also read: Massive coral spawning event turns dying reefs into ‘super reefs’ able to withstand El Niño and Pacific warming hotspots in Kiribati

more threats

Unfortunately, several different threats such as overfishing, disease and rising ocean temperatures can threaten these important ecosystems. This immediate physical injury places additional stress on these sensitive habitats.

The Maui Ocean Center Institute of Oceanography and the Department of Lands and Natural Resources are putting in a lot of effort to quickly repair and restore the damage.

According to Sparks, the Maui Ocean Center Oceanographic Institute has located some loose coral colonies that will reattach once ocean conditions improve. He added that the team is grateful for the center’s swift action and knowledgeable assistance in coral restoration to stabilize and restore the site.

According to the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, the owner of the yacht is responsible for the cost of the towing operation and any environmental damage caused by it, Weekly newspaper reports.

related articles: Modular coral reefs installed along Caribbean coast to counter global warming damage

© 2023 NatureWorldNews.com All rights reserved. No reproduction without permission.

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