Japanese 2011 Tsunami Debris a Hazard for Shipping the Next Decades

The tsunami that ravaged northeast Japan in March 2011 created the biggest single dumping of rubbish, sweeping some five million tonnes of shattered buildings, cars, household goods and other rubble into the sea. According to Japanese estimates about three-and-a-half million tonnes, sank immediately, leaving some 1.5 million tonnes of plastic, timber, fishing nets, shipping containers, industrial scrap and innumerable other objects to float deeper into the ocean.

2013.05.15 - Japanese 2011 Tsunami Debris a Hazard for Shipping the Next Decades

According to marine experts, for many years, and possibly decades, items will be a hazard for shipping, a risk for sea mammals, turtles and birds, a hitchhiking invitation for invasive species and a poorly understood threat to wildlife through plastic micro-particles.

Early last year, the first debris started to wash up on shores of Oregon, Washington and southern Alaska and the Canadian province of British Columbia.

Such debris have been found to include among others

Exactly where the trash is and how much remains is unclear. Much may have sunk or become waterlogged, and scattering means there are no more clusters to be monitored by plane or satellite.

Finally another problem is the risk of invasive species and debris that has sunk.

More information regarding Japan Tsunami Marine Debris can be found on NOAAs website.

Source: Space Daily

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