Pacific Islands Development Program/East-West Center
With Support From Center for Pacific Islands Studies/University of Hawai‘i


Fishing boat retrieved from flotsam

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Oct. 17, 2011) – A fishing boat is amongst debris from the Japanese tsunami which has been spotted in the central Pacific Ocean, three thousand miles from Japan.

Scientists at the University of Hawaii say the Russian training ship STS Pallada found the debris after passing the island of Midway.

AFP reports the crew spotted the six meter-long vessel adrift and had seen other debris including a television, fridge, wooden boards and plastic. They hoisted the boat up on to their ship and are trying to trace its owner.

The scientists from the International Pacific Research Centre estimate tsunami debris will wash up on Hawaiian islands in one year and the U.S. west coast in three years.

The magnitude nine quake and subsequent tsunami on Japan’s northeast coast in March killed 20 thousand people.

[PIR editor's note: The recent sightings of debris movement in the Pacific Ocean validate ocean current models created by University of Hawaii scientists, which predict debris arriving in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands in two years, a definite concern for the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument and the surrounding areas.]

Radio New Zealand International:
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