Thursday April 4, 2024

Molokai Dispatch

The August wildfires which ravaged areas of Maui have cast a looming shadow over the marine life and fish populations, particularly in the waters adjacent to Lahaina — including those off Molokai. The aftermath of the deadliest U.S. wildfire in a century has left behind a toxic legacy, with concerns mounting over the potential contamination of the ocean waters, according to reports from the Dept. of Land and Natural Resources and the Nature Conservancy.

A primary concern regarding the contamination of marine ecosystems is the impacts to neighboring islands, such as Molokai. Scientists believe that the ocean currents may have transported contaminants from Lahaina waters to Molokai, which can potentially affect fish populations and coral reefs.

Eric Conklin, the Nature Conservancy’s director of marine science for Hawaii and Palmyra, underscored the interconnectedness of Lahaina and Molokai’s ecosystems, emphasizing that fish caught off the reefs of Molokai could bear compounds originating from the wildfires in Lahaina.

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