Science Articles

THE CASTAWAY CRITTERS RAFTED TO U.S. SHORES ABOARD THE JAPAN TSUNAMI DEBRIS

On the debris found from 2011’s tsunami, more than 300 alive marine aquatic species were found on board travelling with it. A new study has found that hundreds of species might have been travelling on this debris across the ocean. After the tsunami took place in 2011 in Japan, a boat washed up on the U.S. coast with pelagic gooseneck barnacles clinging to it.

On the debris found from 2011’s tsunami, more than 300 alive marine aquatic species were found on board travelling with it. A new study has found that hundreds of species might have been travelling on this debris across the ocean. After the tsunami took place in 2011 in Japan, a boat washed up on the U.S. coast with pelagic gooseneck barnacles clinging to it.

THE STORY

In 2011, a huge tidal wave or tsunami had occurred in Japan which had created havoc. It had destroyed the coast of Japan along with displacing everything and everyone from their habitat. On its way out, the tsunami had taken away a huge amount of debris to the sea. Even the marine life of Japan was affected.

 

According to the new findings, Japanese marine life might have taken the pieces of floating wood or estates to travel across the oceans. In Science magazine, the researchers from the United States have stated that there have been various spotting of living Japanese marine life species from 2012 to 2017 on the shores of Hawaii and North America.

 

More than 289 living marine species have been spotted on buoys, crates, fishing boats, docks and other objects. There is a distance of over 7000 kilometers from Japan to America which was travelled by marine species on more than 634 tsunami debris.

 

Approximately 65 percent of the species found in the debris has never been spotted in the Pacific Ocean near North America which marks a threat to the natural habitat and marine ecosystem of the already established aquatic life. The study establishes the fact that the native marine ecosystem might get unbalanced due to the invasion.

SOME OF THE MARINE LIFE SPECIES FOUND

From amongst the range of species found in the debris, some of the castaway critters include-

Ø  Skeleton Shrimp- these are found in Japan and use their strong rear claws for making algae as their prey.

Ø  Northern Pacific Sea Star- these are invasive in nature and can live in deep waters.

Ø  Japanese shipworms- these are large molluscs which look like worms, living in wooden objects.

Ø  Slipper nail- these were basically native to U.S. but became invasive in Japan and now have returned back.

Ø  Japanese barred knifejaw fish- some of them were found trapped inside the well of the boat which made the fish survive during the two-year long journey.

Ø  Bryozoan- white and brittle, these moss animals can infiltrate a new habitat easily.

THE END STORY

The journey marks the dispersal of transoceanic species which imposes various implications for the marine biogeography.