The 9.0 magnitude quake that caused the deadliest tsunami on the coast of Japan in 2011 still echoes today as tsunami debris washes ashore Washington’s coast.
Travelling the Pacific Ocean, an impressive number of objects are still fished out by the wildlife authorities from the Washington area.
Alongside representing sad reminders of the natural disaster that threw Japan into havoc in 2011, the objects carry potentially invasive species and parasites that undoubtedly affect the ecosystem they infiltrate.
To prevent this from happening, the State Department of Fish and Wildlife scan the waters and shores and urge anyone who spots debris to announce them immediately. It is reported that the parasites which hitched a ride across the ocean can threaten the environment greatly.
Recently, a team pulled out the third Japanese skiff to reach the Washington shores. Brought back to the laboratory, it was found that the 25 feet boat retrieved from La Push, Clallam County, was carrying 25 live pink barnacles from Japan. Biological samples were took and sent to laboratories across the United States for thorough investigation.
Allen Pleus from the Department of Fish and Wildlife is excited by the tsunami debris and has many stories to tell as to the harbor some objects offer to these travelling species. Yet, he warns of the grave threats that some of the species pose to their final destination environments.
Since 2011, Pleus stated that approximately 40 object were retrieved from the waters or shores. For instance, one boat similar to the one recently discovered drifted near Hawaii.
There, it picked up a fish species called the tropical striped beakfish and led them to the Pacific Northwest. Here, they adjusted to the new significantly colder environment thanks to the safe abode provided by the boat.
The 2011 tsunami was one of the most powerful in history. Japan’s northern coast was severly damaged, the nuclear plant at Fukushima suffered damage as well and 16,000 people were reported dead.
An aftereffect was the spillover of approximately 5 million tons of tsunami debris into the ocean.
In the U.S., the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported that a large part of the debris can still be found between Hawaii and Midway Atoll.
Image Source: DailyMail
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