State roundup for May 18
Hawaii seeks help in search for hooked monk seal
KAHULUI, Hawaii (AP) — State officials are asking for help in finding a Hawaiian monk seal that was accidentally hooked by a fisherman in Maui.
The state Department of Land and Natural Resources said the endangered seal was hooked over the weekend by a fisherman who was out fishing for ulua.
Officials say the line broke and the seal swam away before the fisherman could call to get the hook removed.
The seal has been identified as RL06. The female was born in July at Kalaupapa.
DLNR officials say the fisherman called in the incident to the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary on Monday.
“In addition, several watchful tour boats were also extremely helpful in calling reports of this hooked seal,” DLNR Chairman William Aila said. “A quick report with its current location is the best thing that can happen at this point.”
David Schofield, manager for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries Service’s mammal health response program, said previous interactions with humans may have made it more at risk of hooking.
“The public is encouraged not to feed or interact with monk seals to prevent situations like this one from happening,” he said.
State officials said the fisherman reported the seal was hooked with a 2.5-inch barbed circle hook, up to 5 feet of wire and fishing line.
Ellison hires Calif. energy expert for Lanai
HONOLULU (AP) — Billionaire Larry Ellison is bringing on a California energy expert to help make the Hawaiian island of Lanai a model for sustainable energy.
The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Friday (http://goo.gl/7pezL) that the co-founder of Oracle Corp. has hired Byron Washom, the director of Strategic Energy Initiatives at the University of California San Diego.
The former Hawaii resident will manage Lanai’s renewable energy efforts and work to increase the supply of fresh water.
Washom plans develop a microgrid to help the island maximize its use of renewable energy. Washom has already been managing a microgrid at the University of California San Diego. Solar energy currently supplies 10 percent of Lanai’s power.
Washom will also help develop a desalination plant to produce more fresh water.
Ellison acquired 97 percent of Lanai last June.
High surf advisory issued for Hawaii Islands
HONOLULU (AP) — A high surf advisory has been issued for all the Hawaii Islands.
National Weather Service forecasters in Honolulu say south-facing shores on all the islands will have strong, breaking waves and rip currents that will make swimming both difficult and dangerous.
Waves are expected to be between 6 and 10 feet this weekend.
The high surf advisory will remain in effect until 6 p.m. Sunday.
Hawaii gov suggests environmental quality director
HONOLULU (AP) — Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie has nominated Genevieve Salmonson as interim director of the Office of Environmental Quality Control.
The office is part of the state Department of Health. As interim director, Salmonson will coordinate efforts to maintain the best quality of Hawaii’s environment.
Abercrombie says Salmonson will provide strong leadership. He says she will help small businesses follow environmental regulations and rules.
The state Senate still needs to confirm the nomination.
Salmonson served as director previously from 1999 to 2007. Most recently she worked as a temporary assignment program manager for the Environmental Planning Office.
The Nuuanu resident’s private sector experience includes working as general manager of Honolulu Recovery Systems, Inc. She also served as vice president of United Tire and Recapping Co., Ltd.
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