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Marine Aquatic Invasive Species, Japanese Tsunami Debris - News and Timeline of Events

The writing on the tote translates as: “Equipment of Ofunato City”. Ofunato is a city in Iwate Prefecture, Japan.
Oregon's Governor, John Kitzhaber, signed the State of Oregon Japan Tsunami Marine Debris plan on Dec. 18, 2012.
ODFW biologist taking samples from the 70-foot-long dock that washed up north of Newport.
-Photo by ODFW-

Jan 20, 2015: A commercial fishing tote washed ashore on Beverly Beach, just north of Newport. The writing on the tote translates as:  “Equipment of Ofunato City”.  Ofunato is a city in Iwate Prefecture, Japan. Dr. Gayle Hansen, Hatfield Marine Science Center, has collected specimens from the tote for the identification of any non-native species. Contact Steven S. Rumrill, Shellfish Program Leader, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, (541) 867-0300 Ext. 245, for more information. Gayle Hansen photos. 

April 2013: Five live striped beakfish (Oplegnathus fasciatus) arrive on Washington coast in a wooden skiff presumed to be tsunami debris.

March 2013: Several small boats suspected to be tsunami debris washed up on Oregon coast; all were removed to landfills.

March 10, 2013: A section of a concrete dock was placed at the OSU Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport as part of a tsunami awareness exhibit.

March 13, 2013: Japanese officials confirmed there were four floating docks at the Misawa Fishing Port when the March 11, 2011 tsunami struck and three were washed away. One dock washed up on June 5, 2012 on Agate Beach in Newport, Oregon. One washed up in December 2012 on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington, and one was sighted off Hawaii in late September 2012.

Feb. 5, 2013: Boat washed ashore at Gleneden Beach appears to be tsunami debris

Dec. 18, 2012: Govern Kitzhaber Signs Japanese Tsunami Marine Debris Plan

Nov. 30, 2012: Government of Japan gifts NOAA $5 million to address tsunami marine debris

Oct. 24, 2012: Marine organisms on floating dock identified (pdf)

Sept. 26, 2012: Japanese Tsunami Marine Debris Task Force schedules road show in Curry and Clatsop counties

August 23, 2012: NOAA update (pdf)

Aug. 20, 2012: Governor's Task Force on Japanese Tsunami Marine Debris to hold a road show on the Oregon Coast on Aug. 28 and 29

August 3rd, 2012, Agate Beach dock removal

July 31-Aug. 1, 2012: Regional Preparedness and Response Workshop to Address Biofouling an Marine Invasive Species on Japan Tsunami Marine Debris held at Portland State University. Sponsored by NOAA, ODFW, OSU, SEA GRANT and USFWS

July 18, 2012: Governors of Pacific Ocean States and Territories Sign Joint Letter to President Obama on Tsunami Debris Clean up

June 29, 2012: Tsunami debris drop-off sites open on coast, 211 info line opens for reporting debris

June 28, 2012: Governor Kitzhaber Announces Oregon Tsunami Debris Task Force

June 26, 2012: Agate Beach Update 12: Dock removal will begin week of July 30

June 22, 2012: Tsunami Debris and Marine Invasive Species: What to do, who to call news release

June 19, 2012: Through a competitive bidding process and consultation with ODFW, Oregon Parks and Recreation District chose to demolish the Agate Beach dock, rather than tow it to another location, increasing the risk of spreading invasive species.

June 8, 2012: Buoys and other debris related to Japan Tsunami have been washing up on Oregon’s north coast for the past week.

June 6-8, 2012: Oregon Parks and Recreation District, ODFW and Oregon State University worked together to identify organisms on the dock and remove as much biological material as possible. Several of the organisms on the dock were identified as being nonnative to Oregon and potentially invasive. Species of great concern included: Wakame seaweed (Undaria pinnatifida) and North Pacific seastar (Asterias amurensis).

June 5, 2012: Dock washed up on Oregon’s Agate Beach in Newport. The dock had a thick layer of living organisms on it.



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