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Live Fish Found in Possible Tsunami Debris

April 8, 2013

Several tropical fish from Japan were recovered alive from a vessel that washed ashore last weekend in Pacific County.

The boat is thought to be debris that made its way to Washington after the 2011 tsunami.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife speculate the boat remained upright during its 5,000 mile drift across the Pacific Ocean. An official from the department discovered the fish in a bait box while he was collecting samples of marine organisms from the beached vessel.

The fish were identified as striped beakfish, found primarily in shallow Asian waters such as coral reefs. The fish are about 4-and-a-half inches long and appear to have survived the trip by feeding on other organisms in the boat.

Invasive species specialists also found a host of other Japanese species of sea anemones, cucumbers, scallops and worms living in what they call the very rare “aquarium” of water that pooled inside the boat.

A live beakfish is being examined by scientists at the Seaside Aquarium in Oregon. The bait box in which the fish were found also contained seaweed, crabs, barnacles, amphipods and other organisms.

beakfish-tsunami-boat

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