LONGVIEW, Wash. - After a Japanese fishing boat known to have been in last year's tsunami was spotted off the coast of British Columbia last week, two men on the Long Beach Peninsula said they have found garbage from the disaster.
The Longview residents this month told The Daily News they found items such as large light bulbs, bottles and jars, some with Japanese writing. But experts said it will be nearly impossible to figure out if the items are in fact from the Japanese tsunami.
Experts studying the tsunami said it will likely be about a year until floating trash reaches us on the West Coast, but two Seattle oceanographers said a large black float that was found in December at the northwestern tip of Washington was identified as coming from the tsunami.
There are signs popping up that items have in fact arrived. The fishing boat known to have been lost in the tsunami is expected to make landfall in British Columbia in 50 days.
The grandson of Jacques Cousteau, environmental advocate Philippe Cousteau, said the wait and see approach is scary, but the garbage is difficult to track with GPS.
“It could be hazardous waste, certain dangerous materials that are floating in that debris field and it’s very, very difficult because of the nature of the way the oceans work,” said Cousteau.
The debris field contains as much as 100,000 tons that could wash up on U.S. shores.
After the Japanese fishing boat was discovered off the B.C. coast, Sen. Maria Cantwell said it's further proof the U.S. government needs a comprehensive plan for coordination and response to the tsunami debris.