People of Northwest Public Radio
Fri May 30, 2014
Yet Another Derelict Skiff Likely From Japanese Tsunami Washes Ashore
The wave of derelict boats drifting ashore more than three years after the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan continues. The latest arrival is a fiberglass skiff coated with sea life found today at Horsfall Beach near Coos Bay.
Oregon State University marine biologist John Chapman explains why he suspects this new boat is debris from the Japanese tsunami, like a dozen others this month.
"First, the boat itself is not like any boat we have,” said Chapman. “You can recognize an Asian skiff in a heartbeat. We don't have them. There's no question there. But on top of that, they have Asian species on them that do not occur here."
Chapman gets called in to sample the marine life clinging to the boats for invasive species. He says at least seven Japanese boats have washed ashore on Oregon beaches this month. This pulse of tsunami debris also deposited five more skiffs just since last Friday on Washington state beaches.
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