Maui News

Possible Tsunami Marine Debris Washes Ashore

December 5, 2012, 7:35 AM HST
* Updated December 5, 9:24 AM
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Photo by DLNR. Pieces of the broken boat were retrieved from the ocean and include Japanese registration numbers from pieces of the stern. This information was provided to NOAA which will work with the Consulate-General of Japan in Honolulu to seek confirmation of origin in the tsunami-affected area with help of the Japan government.

By Wendy Osher

A boat recovered from the shoreline of Kahana Bay on Oahu may be the next piece to be verified as Japan tsunami marine debris.

State crews from the Department of Land and Natural Resources retrieved pieces of the 20-foot boat over the weekend.

Identification information found on the various pieces includes Japanese characters and registration numbers.

The NOAA Marine Debris Program in Hawai‘i is working with the Japan Consulate on confirmation of the boat’s origin.

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State officials say identification of the boat’s origin may also help with the identification of two species of mussels that were found attached to the boat.

Photo courtesy Hawaii News Now, used with permission. Boat in pieces on the rocky shore at Kahana Bay. Japanese characters are visible on the right bow.

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The mussels could be a species that is present along the Japan coastline, and is not currently known to be present in Hawai‘i, said DLNR authorities.

Specimens were turned over to NOAA for further identification by Bishop Museum and possible genetic identification.

If confirmed, the boat will be the fourth confirmed tsunami marine debris item for Hawaii and the 17th overall for the US and Canada.

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