You knew that it was going to happen, and it finally has. On the West Coast, scientists have found live fish in debris from what they believe was the 2011 tsunami in Japan. Previously, they had found only invertebrates.
The fish has been identified as a striped beakfish, also known as a barred knifejaw. Five of them were found in a half-flooded boat of Japanese registration, with one kept alive at Oregon’s Seaside Aquarium and four euthanized for study. The live specimen is about 5 inches long.
"The reproductive status and age will help us figure out if they rode the entire way from Japan starting over two years ago, or most likely they came from Hawaii," said Allen Pleus, aquatic invasive species coordinator at the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.
Even from Hawaii, the fish would have survived a journey of nearly 3,000 miles.
It's unlikely that any fish that escaped the boat will survive in the cool waters off the Washington and Oregon coastlines, Pleus said. Had the boat landed further south, it's possible the fish could have established themselves.
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