Credit: Canada's Department of National Defence

More than a year after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami devastated Japan, a Japanese fishing boat has been found drifting aimlessly off the coast of British Columbia.

The beat up 150-foot trawler was spotted on March 20 by an aircraft while on a routine patrol approximately 150 nautical miles from the southern coast of Canada’s Haida Gwaii islands, drifting south.

Officials have traced the boat to a squid fishing company in Japan, who had confirmed no one was believed to be on the vessel when the tsunami struck.

NOAA, among other organizations, have been warning that marine debris generated by the earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan in March 2011 would be making its way across the Pacific, posing navigational hazards to vessels and threatening coastlines, but what, when, and where the debris is expected to wash up has been difficult to predict.

For more information on tracing marine debris from Japan’s earthquake and tsunami check out this video below and read gCaptain’s coverage on Tracking Marine Debris from the Japanese Tsunami.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GDxOTLemPPQ[/youtube]

Help NOAA by Reporting Marine Debris

Citizen monitoring and reporting can help NOAA scientists better understand the location and nature of the debris generated by the earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

Ships traveling the Pacific Ocean and beachcombers on the coast can now report significant sightings. If reporting a sighting, be sure to include what you saw, when you saw it, and where it was located.  Individuals or groups can request shoreline monitoring guides by emailing MD.monitoring@noaa.gov.

Since debris washes up on our shores regularly, you can also help by downloading the Marine Debris Tracker app for iPhone and Android phones or emailing MD.Monitoring@noaa.gov to request a shoreline survey guide to start collecting information on the amount and location of trash at your beach. This allows NOAA to track changes in how much debris is showing up on U.S. coasts

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