The moon, full today, burned brightly through a blanket of swirling clouds all night, emerging occasionally, encircled in a halo, dimming only slightly when the rain came that left the streets wet when Koko and I went walking this morning.
The sun, weak by comparison, rose as a yellow streak in a gray sky that briefly turned a demure orange-pink in the east as we walked through a neighborhood saturated by rain. And though we attempted to skirt puddles and mud slicks, Koko’s belly was wet and dirty when we got home, while my own was clean, but hungry.
It seems the residents of Niihau are also hungry, according to an email that was sent out last night, prompting plans to collect basic foodstuffs at the state capitol for shipping to the island on Friday.
The email reported:
apperently the barge has been unabl;e to reach them because of the weather, and the [Robinson family] helicopter is broken, and they wont eat the fish because they think its posoned.
I was intrigued by this call out, because I had just written a piece for The Hawaii Independent on the fears that Niihau folks have about their fish following mid-January’s still unexplained mass fish kill.
The article delves into a possible link to Navy activities, which reportedly were staged in the area Jan. 15 to 18. And that’s when all sorts of strange things started happening in the waters around Kauai and Niihau.
In The Hawaii Independent article, I noted that Bruce Robinson first noticed fish washing ashore on Niihau on Jan. 17, and a dead humpback whale calf on Jan 21. As you may recall, a mass kill of lanternfish, a small deep water species, and squid washed ashore at Kauai’s Kalapaki Bay on Jan. 20.
As I reported in a previous post, there was some initial concern that perhaps the fish deaths were linked to the Jan. 6 and 13 aerial applications of rodenticide on Lehua, a small island near Niihau. But fish tissue samples taken after the application showed no sign of poison and there was “no detectable movement” of the rodenticide pellets on land, according to Chris Swenson of the Fish and Wildlife Service.
Don Heacock, the state aquatic biologist for Kauai, said he doesn’t think the rodenticide had anything to do with the fish kills, either. He isn’t sure what caused the fish and whales to die — another calf washed in at Kekaha on Feb. 9 — saying, “I don’t know, and I don’t want to put clothes on the emperor.”
But he did recommend that his top boss, BLNR Chairman Laura Thielen, ask the Navy just what it was doing at that time “so we can get a better idea of what’s going on here.”
Of course, if the answer is anything like the one I got from PMRF’s Tom Clements, which you can read in the Independent article, it won’t reveal much — except that the Navy operates with tremendous secrecy, and impunity, in Hawaii’s waters.