'Tsunami Fish' Story

Posted: April 8, 2013  |  By: Kim Murphy [LA Times]

SEATTLE —Since a tsunami struck Japan more than two years ago, a variety of debris has washed up on U.S. beaches — including large boat docks and a soccer ball, found in Washington state’s Olympic National Park, from the Otsuchi Soccer Club.

That was trumped recently with the discovery of six live fish, stowed away in a water-filled bait box aboard a 20-foot Japanese boat that washed up on the Long Beach Peninsula in southwestern Washington.  

Researchers had seen live crabs, sea stars and algae clinging to parts of the estimated 1.5 million tons of debris unleashed by the March 2011 tsunami, but they had never encountered live fish that drifted on their own from Asia, said John Chapman, who specializes in aquatic biological invasions at Oregon State University’s Hatfield Marine Science Center.

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