A new field survey reveals that Hawaii beaches have been the docking point of debris that resulted from the 2011 Great Eastern Japan Earthquake. Conservation biologist Nicholas Mallos, who is also the ocean debris specialist at the Ocean Conservancy, said that black oyster buoys and parts of a refrigerator–even an entire refrigerator–has floated onto the islands of Oahu and Kauai. Researchers have also found a 4×4 housing insulation framed in wood. He said that such items have never been seen in the beaches of the islands before.
According to the Japanese government, after the tsunami that devastated East Japan on March 11, 2011, some 5 million tons of wreckage washed away into the sea. Although 70 percent of these have likely sunk to the bottom of the sea, the rest remain afloat on the Pacific Ocean. Mallos said that more often than not, it is difficult to differentiate plastic junk lodged in the beaches from the sand itself. Tsunami debris is different. Not only are they bigger, but they seem to come by type or kind.
A beach survey has just been completed by the joint efforts of the Japan Environmental Action Network, the Oceanic Wildlife Survey and the Japan Ministry of the Environment; and they found that about six or seven items most likely came from Japan.
[via NBC News]
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