The March 11, 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami sent an unprecedented volume of marine debris into the North Pacific Ocean which began to come ashore in North America and the Hawaiian Islands in 2012. Between the spring of 2012 and the winter of 2016/2017 we found nearly 400 living Japanese invertebrates and algae on Japanese Tsunami Marine Debris (JTMD) that landed in the Central and Eastern Pacific. Remarkably, JTMD, with living Japanese species has continued to arrive into 2021. Research commenced in 2019 in the “Garbage Patch” has now revealed that these Western Pacific coastal species appear to have newly colonized debris in the open ocean, successfully reproducing and maintaining multiple generations on the high seas.
Speaker: Jim Carlton, Williams College, Emeritus
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