Japanese tsunami debris reaches Hawaii

Sept. 24, 2012 at 8:35 PM

HONOLULU, Sept. 24 (UPI) -- The first piece of debris to arrive in Hawaii from the 2011 Japanese tsunami, a barnacle-covered seafood storage bin, has been identified, authorities say.

Hawaii's Department of Land and Natural Resources said the blue plastic bin was spotted floating off the coast of Waimanalo, Oahu, last week and towed ashore, LiveScience reported Monday.

The container, a 4-foot open cube, was identified as belonging to a Japanese seafood company based in Miyagi prefecture, an area that suffered considerable damage in the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

Gooseneck barnacles and crabs that typically live on floating debris in the open ocean were found in and on the bin, but officials said the organisms are not invasive to Hawaii.

The bin is part of an estimated 1.5 million tons of debris from the tsunami still floating in the Pacific Ocean and joins debris already spotted along the west coast of North America.

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