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Boat containing live fish from Japan found off Oregon coast

The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department suspects it to be debris from the devastating earthquake and tsunami that rocked the eastern coast of Japan in 2011.

By Elizabeth Shim
Boat containing live fish from Japan found off Oregon coast
A boat spotted off the Oregon coast, measuring 25 to 30 feet in length, was identified as a significant fragment of a larger vessel and contained live fish. Photo courtesy of Oregon Parks and Recreation Department

WALDPORT, Ore., April 10 (UPI) -- A fiberglass boat containing live fish native to Japan was located off the Oregon coast on Thursday.

The boat, measuring 25 to 30 feet in length, was identified as a significant fragment of a larger vessel, reported KOIN 6 News. The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department suspects it to be debris from the devastating earthquake and tsunami that rocked the eastern coast of Japan in 2011.

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State officials were preparing a plan to salvage the boat before it reached land.

Scientists at Oregon Coast Aquarium and biologists at Oregon State University's Hatfield Marine Science Center said the organisms stuck to the boat posed a low threat to the ecosystem of the Oregon coast.

The boat's interior also was transporting a variety of live yellowtail jack from the Japanese coast. Q13 Fox reported the fish are to be removed and transported to the Oregon Coast Aquarium.

Riverbend Marine Service in Newport, Ore., has an existing fund for tsunami debris relief. Money from the fund will be used to retrieve the boat.

This is not the first time the Japan tsunami debris has reached Oregon.

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In 2013, a 16-foot heavy wooden object believed to be part of a sacred Japanese gate, or torii, was found ashore near Florence, Ore.

On Tuesday, trace amounts of radioactive isotopes of cesium-134 and cesium-137 were found in samples gathered on Vancouver Island, in British Columbia, but the radiation was below the legal threshold for human safety.

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