There are almost 300 marine species that were transported from Japan to the US West Coast after the 2011 tsunami. And this, along with the earthquake and the Fukushima nuclear accident, devastated the country.
Now six years later, a study published in the journal Science revealed that this tsunami took one million marine creatures, belonging to almost 300 different species, to the west coast of the United States of America.
The authors of the study say that this is the longest sea migration recorded. That is, the living beings traveled almost 7800 kilometers to the other side of the Pacific Ocean, aboard a “fleet” of debris generated by the tsunami. Species were lodged and mostly reproduced in non-biodegradable, floating-away debris such as plastics and glass fibers, and were drawn to the coasts of states such as Washington, California, Alaska, and even Hawaii.
Thus, according to the study, two-thirds of the species had never been seen on the American coast. Since June 2012, species are appearing on the west coast of the USA.
At the conclusion of the study earlier this year, the team of investigators was still discovering creatures such as crustaceans and sea slugs lodged in wreckage caused by the tsunami.
The situation may cause problems for the natural fauna of the American West Coast and experts say it is too early to realize if these species are colonizing along the coast, thus threatening the native.
The amount of wreckage brought by the tsunami is also a reminder of the danger of plastics to the marine ecosystem, not only climate and pollution, but also the propagation of marine species to undue sites.