Maui News

Invasive Species Arrive with Possible Japan Tsunami Debris

December 26, 2012, 10:02 AM HST
* Updated December 26, 10:03 AM
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Gooseneck barnacles typical pelagic species on the boat are not threats to Hawaii marine environment. Photo by DAR.

By Wendy Osher

A boat recovered from the shoreline in Punaluu on Oahu could be the latest piece of Japan Tsunami Debris to wash up in Hawaiʻi.

Experts found gooseneck barnacles and several types of crabs on the 24-foot boat, as well as green mussels native to Japan, that are considered invasive species.

Staff from the state’s DLNR offices plan to move the boat to the department’s Halawa baseyard today to clean and examine it further.

Since the end of November, state officials say the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association received approximately 1,400 official debris reports from the US, Canada, and Mexico.


A total of 17 items have been confirmed as items lost during the March 2011 tsunami, with the help of the Consulates and Government of Japan.


DLNR authorities say four of those confirmed items have arrived in Hawaiʻi since Sept. 18, 2012 including: a large blue plastic bin, a fishing boat recovered 700 miles north of Maui by a Hawaii longline fisherman, a skiff found at Midway Atoll, and a skiff in pieces found at Kahana Bay, Oahu.

Blue mussels removed from the sides of the boat. Also some gooseneck barnacles. Photo by DAR.

Blue mussels removed from the sides of the boat. Also some gooseneck barnacles. Photo by DAR.

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