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State briefs for October 21

Aquaculture reached record sales last year

HONOLULU — Farm-raised marine animal sales in Hawaii last year reached $83.2 million, breaking a record, according to a new federal report.

Aquaculture sales quoted in the report by the U.S. Department of Agriculture eclipsed the high of $78.2 million set in 2014. The increase appeared driven by sales of fish, while the value of microalgae sales fell, the report said.

Animals raised by farms on land or in the ocean statewide include shrimp, oysters, clams, moi, tilapia, kampachi, koi and angelfish. The industry provides more than 350 jobs in Hawaii.

The report combined the value of finfish and shellfish into one category to prevent revealing data that could identify sales for individual farms. Sales for the category was $47.9 million, up from $41.2 million in 2017.

Algae largely produced by companies selling nutritional supplement products totaled $32.7 million in sales last year, down from $35.2 million in 2017.

Honolulu reserves rooms for virus quarantine

HONOLULU — Honolulu reserved hundreds of rooms at two hotels so Oahu has more space for people to go into coronavirus quarantine.

Officials booked 221 rooms from Oct. 15-Dec. 30 at the Park Shore Hotel in Waikiki to isolate those exposed to the virus or required to quarantine after travel.

The Park Shore rooms can be used in phases of 80, 150 or all 221 with five days’ notice to the hotel, according to a statement from the city.

Honolulu also partnered with the state Department of Health to establish a second temporary quarantine center at the Waikiki Beachside, where 46 units were reserved.

The units with on-site parking and laundry will include health services, meals and light housekeeping provided by the Health Department.

As tourism comes back, Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell said he expects the number of coronavirus infections to grow.

“We want to prepare for any possible increase in COVID-19 cases and to keep impacts controlled to ensure that the city can support the opening of businesses and the restart of the island economy,” Caldwell said.

Quarantine facilities also will be available to anyone who can’t isolate at home, including first responders and health care workers.

The hotel rooms are expected to be paid from the city’s share of federal coronavirus recovery funds.
Source: Hawaii Tribune Herald

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