This Wrecked Fishing Vessel Full of Live Yellowtail Jacks Discovered off Oregon Was Likely Set Adrift During Japan’s 2011 Tsunami

by Owen James Burke

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This fragmented fiberglass hull was discovered off Oregon on Thursday with 20 live yellowtail jacks aboard. It’s believed to have come from Japan. Photo: Oregon Parks and Recreation Department

Debris from Japan’s 15,000-casualty, $300 billion earthquake and tsunami in March 2011 began washing up along US shores in 2012, and the stream is far from over. This vessel, by the looks of it, was a small commercial fishing boat that was broken up and pulled out to sea. Four years later, it washed up along Oregon’s coast with 20 live Asian yellowtail jacks (S. l. aureovitta).

Some speculation suggests that the fish were caught and stored on the boat before the tsunami, though judging by their relatively small size (yellowtail reach lengths of about 6 feet at maturity), that seems unlikely. I’d guess they ended up aboard as larvae, after the boat was cast adrift, using it as a home base for both hunting and shelter. If these fish were caught and stored four years ago, they would have been extremely small–maybe even too small to take a baited hook.

Before getting towed into an Oregon port, the swamped hull was inspected for threatening invasive species and deemed low risk.

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The fish were rescued, and will be transported to the Oregon Coast Aquarium. Photo: Oregon Parks and Recreation Department via The Daily Mail

Video (via KOIN):

Read more at The Washington Post and KOIN — OJB

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