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Science

Invasive Species Ride Tsunami Debris To US Shore 173

Posted by samzenpus
from the are-going-my-way? dept.
An anonymous reader writes "When a floating dock the size of a boxcar washed up on a sandy beach in Oregon, beachcombers got excited because it was the largest piece of debris from last year's tsunami in Japan to show up on the West Coast. But scientists worried it represented a whole new way for invasive species of seaweed, crabs and other marine organisms to break the earth's natural barriers and further muck up the West Coast's marine environments. And more invasive species could be hitching rides on tsunami debris expected to arrive in the weeks and months to come."
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Invasive Species Ride Tsunami Debris To US Shore

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  • More sushi! (Score:5, Funny)

    by QQBoss (2527196) on Monday June 11, 2012 @12:13PM (#40284779)

    Anything that brings cheaper sushi, I am all for it! Best way to resolve invasive species problems... first find a way to serve them up!

    • by Muad'Dave (255648) on Monday June 11, 2012 @12:18PM (#40284865) Homepage

      Tsunami sushi....is people!!!

    • Re:More sushi! (Score:5, Informative)

      by cayenne8 (626475) on Monday June 11, 2012 @12:56PM (#40285509) Homepage Journal

      Best way to resolve invasive species problems... first find a way to serve them up!

      Agreed!!

      Please ship some samples down here to the New Orleans area, we can find a way to cook anything....and make it taste good!!

      • by ewieling (90662)
        One word: Nutria
        • Nutria is a good match for creole recipes. It's got a strong flavor not unlike the dark meat from a turkey that can still be tasted when used in spicy recipes like this one [nutria.com] and it does taste good.

          The problem is it looks a bit too much like a giant rat, even though it's closer to a beaver. People in the US have a psychological issue with the thought of eating rats, so it's not likely that it will ever be a popular ingredient.

    • i know it seems all cutesy wutesy, but if you have watched Prometheus 5 times in a row in the theatre like i have, you will know that we cannot trust these little buggers.

    • by QQBoss (2527196)

      Replying to myself: Whoever marked my original message overrated as obviously never tried lionfish [popularmechanics.com]!

  • by notgm (1069012) on Monday June 11, 2012 @12:15PM (#40284807)

    Start surviving....NOW!

    Sincerely,
    Nature.

    • by ArhcAngel (247594) on Monday June 11, 2012 @12:18PM (#40284859)
      This is the first thing I thought of. Isn't this how nature prunes and purges and refreshes itself?
      • by pixelpusher220 (529617) on Monday June 11, 2012 @12:23PM (#40284931)
        Indeed, this is 'natural'. Granted you could make the argument that maybe not as much 'debris' would be floating for said hitchhikers to use, but I'm guessing there would be just as much, just 'different'.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by compro01 (777531)

          Grab a chunk of natural, untreated wood and leave it in water for a few months. It'll absorb water and sink like a rock, then it'll rot. It's not going to be carrying passengers across an ocean, unlike treated everything-proof wood you'd use on a ship or a dock.

          • Grab a chunk of natural, untreated wood and leave it in water for a few months.

            Like the driftwood that continually washes up on the beach?

            It's not going to be carrying passengers across an ocean, unlike treated everything-proof wood you'd use on a ship or a dock.

            Would those passengers be likely to tolerate the CCA or other treatments over the trans-ocean journey?

            • by compro01 (777531) on Monday June 11, 2012 @01:39PM (#40286085)

              Grab a chunk of natural, untreated wood and leave it in water for a few months.

              Like the driftwood that continually washes up on the beach?

              Driftwood isn't going to be from the other side of the planet. It will be from much closer and will make landfall before it fully waterlogs.

              It's not going to be carrying passengers across an ocean, unlike treated everything-proof wood you'd use on a ship or a dock.

              Would those passengers be likely to tolerate the CCA or other treatments over the trans-ocean journey?

              If the wood is just being used as a substrate and not as a nutrition source, quite likely.

          • by eth1 (94901) on Monday June 11, 2012 @03:32PM (#40287611)

            Sink, yes... not so sure about rot.

            I often visit lake Lewisville, and the top end of the lake (the old Lake Dallas) was impounded about 100 years ago now. The trees are STILL THERE. They rot down to the water level, then stay there as nearly invisible hazards to boaters...

            • Rot has everything to do with the presence of oxygen. If there's oxygen, they will be destroyed over time.

              What you're seeing with the water line is the difference of weather above the water line and repeated wet/dry/wet cycles as the sun dries out the portion above the water. The stumps are certainly 'softer' than they were and eventually they'll decay away, but it takes decades/centuries me thinks.
              • by tubs (143128)

                See the Mary Rose - http://www.maryrose.org/ [maryrose.org]

          • by Thelasko (1196535)

            Grab a chunk of natural, untreated wood and leave it in water for a few months. It'll absorb water and sink like a rock, then it'll rot. It's not going to be carrying passengers across an ocean, unlike treated everything-proof wood you'd use on a ship or a dock.

            Has anyone tested this experimentally? I've heard of hardwoods becoming waterlogged and sinking, but that doesn't cause rot. The lack of oxygen and low temperatures actually preserve the wood. [timesfreepress.com]

            However, I suspect the length of time timber can remain afloat varies greatly by species. This might be a good research opportunity. Are there any natural timbers in this debris? If so, what species?

          • by Thelasko (1196535) on Monday June 11, 2012 @04:50PM (#40288717) Journal

            Grab a chunk of natural, untreated wood and leave it in water for a few months. It'll absorb water and sink like a rock, then it'll rot. It's not going to be carrying passengers across an ocean, unlike treated everything-proof wood you'd use on a ship or a dock.

            Contrary to your claim, a piece of driftwood [wikipedia.org] has been floating in Crater Lake, Oregon for well over a century.

        • Why is it that what humans do seems never to be classified as "natural", though? Either we're part of nature or we're not.

          I've always found it rather arrogant of us to think that Nature won't figure out a way for us (or our descendants or some other species' descendants) to survive long after we're worm food.

          • I've always found it rather arrogant of us to think that Nature won't figure out a way for us (or our descendants or some other species' descendants) to survive long after we're worm food.

            Nature flatly doesn't care whether we survive or not. A parasite that kills its host is not a long term survival strategy, and we are systematically altering the environments in which we are supported or 'hosted'.

            Why is it that what humans do seems never to be classified as "natural"

            Maybe because we've only been here a blink of an eye? The world exists for literally billions of years before we showed up. We're the interlopers, it would behoove us to live within the stable parameters rather than see how far we can push them before a very complex system decides it's too far.

        • nothing else exists except nature, so there cannot be anything that exists or occurs that isn't natural. polluted, overpopulated cities are easily comparable to bacteria colonies. it's just what happens when you ask DNA to grow humans.
          • by Chris Burke (6130)

            nothing else exists except nature, so there cannot be anything that exists or occurs that isn't natural.

            Natural vs un- or super-natural (i.e. "exists" vs "doesn't exist")
            Natural vs artificial (i.e. "not man-made" vs "man-made")

            Both are valid contexts for natural, but one is more often meaningful when talking about reality (the one that isn't made meaningless by the context).

            it's just what happens when you ask DNA to grow humans.

            Hey, I'm all for the observation that humans are a part of the natural world -- except for when it's used to dismiss human agency. We are the only species we know for sure can (and has) changed our behavior specifically because of conscio

            • We are the only species we know for sure can (and has) changed our behavior specifically because of conscious consideration for the large-scale and long-term effects of what we were doing before.

              assuming this is true, so what? conscious choice, unconscious choice, it's all still a product of nature. nature created our conscious choice -- in fact we recently discovered a way in which nature itself makes physical choices with our genes (it's speculated that it's responsible for our intelligence) http://news.discovery.com/human/ancient-human-brain-neanderthal-120506.html [discovery.com]. it's a tool we use, the same way primates use tools to groom themselves. there is really no such thing as artificial. we use the wo

              • by Chris Burke (6130)

                Hey, don't know why it took so long for me to see this response, but you raise some points I have to address.

                assuming this is true, so what? conscious choice, unconscious choice, it's all still a product of nature. nature created our conscious choice

                So don't dismiss human agency, and abdicate responsibility for your ability to choose, just because it's a "product of nature"! You said that polluted overpopulated cities are "just what happens" as a result of our DNA. That's simply untrue. Genetically modern humans didn't build cities for far longer than we have. What happens when you ask DNA to make humans is you get an animal capable of think

                • So don't dismiss human agency, and abdicate responsibility for your ability to choose, just because it's a "product of nature"!

                  i never said anything of the kind. i'm sorry you took it that way. my point is that this responsibility was endowed to us by evolution, and is therefore not unnatural. any choices a human being makes, good or bad, are "natural." maybe your misunderstanding comes from an assumption that natural = good. this is not the case. in fact, Howard Bloom's excellent book, The Lucifer Principle illustrates the "evil" nature of nature in a very rational manner.

                  what do you think of bacteria or virii? are they good?

      • by mapkinase (958129)

        The problem is that humans are now as far from nature as living tissue on the metal endoskeleton.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by davester666 (731373)

        "scientists worried it represented a whole new way for invasive species of seaweed, crabs and other marine organisms to break the earth's natural barriers"

        How exactly is this "a new way"? I'm pretty sure there have been tsunami's and other extreme weather conditions for quite some time that are capable of carry live organisms hundreds or thousands of miles from where they started.

        • by cusco (717999)
          How exactly is this "a new way"?

          Two different ways. The percentage of the volume of stuff swept out to see that doesn't sink, rot, or break up within a few weeks through natural causes is orders of magnitude larger today than even a century ago. Some of that debris is larger than anything previously existing as well.

          The reason those two points are so important is that it doesn't matter if a single Japanese soldier crab is carried across the ocean on storm debris, or even if a hundred of them are br
    • Start surviving....NOW!

      Sincerely, Nature.

      Hmmm, you know Nature is not afraid of what will happen when these unnaturally treated pieces of wood acts as rafts for any species to traverse an ocean. Perhaps you should share some genuine concern for the effect it will have on humans. Case studies you might care to research: kudzu [wikipedia.org], zebra mussel [wikipedia.org], Asian carp [wikipedia.org] and actually a lot of organisms like rats and weeds that currently traverse the Americas were brought over accidentally on ships. The full effect of them is lost to time and the Native American's knowledge of what used to be available.

      • by Nerdfest (867930)

        Adapting to new environments isn't just for other species.

      • by i.r.id10t (595143)

        2 of your 3 examples were *intentionally* introduced. Add snakeheads and various cichlid species to your list... and the snake issue in the everglades, etc.

        More "naturally caused" introductions - like a piece of flotsam/jetsam floating across the ocean - are just that - natural.

      • by k6mfw (1182893)

        Perhaps you should share some genuine concern for the effect it will have on humans.

        Is Hawaii getting overrun by frogs? I saw a clip few years ago about frogs are not native to Hawaii, a retired couple moved to the islands but lately it has become very noisy with so many frogs croaking at night. This was example about concern of impact on native wildlife and on native crops, even for other lands, which can have huge economic impact of local farming. Also regarding "jet set" wildlife, is growing python population in Florida.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 11, 2012 @12:15PM (#40284813)
    It seems like Tsunamis have always been around, and have always been a way for such things to happen. How is this new? How is this against nature?
    • by Relayman (1068986) on Monday June 11, 2012 @12:22PM (#40284921)
      Floating docks the size of boxcars are a more recent development.
      • by gman003 (1693318)

        Not really. A tree can easily be far larger (have you *seen* a California Redwood?), and those things fall into rivers, which lead to the ocean, which leads to...

        • by compro01 (777531)

          Not really. A tree can easily be far larger (have you *seen* a California Redwood?), and those things fall into rivers, which lead to the ocean, which leads to...

          Waterlogged trees sinking to the bottom of the ocean and rotting a short distance from where they entered it.

          a big damn sock made of treated wood that won't absorb water, and therefore won't sink or rot, and will happily float across an ocean with passengers is something entirely different.

          • by cusco (717999)
            Prior to the arrival of Captain Cook an enormous cedar log, probably from the Colombia River, washed ashore in Hawai'i. Whoever was chief of that area set it aside, wanting to make the largest double-hulled sailing canoe ever, but a match never arrived and it was eventually made into an enormous outrigger canoe instead. Big stuff can arrive over long distances, but it's damn rare. Now we have an entire cargo container full of socks floating in a big mostly-intact blob for a year or two.
      • by Mashiki (184564)

        Sure. But giant washes of trees in the 'near recent past' aren't. And they have dug the remains of those along the east and west coast of the americas, europe, asia and africa from each continent. Seems that nature does a fine job of introducing species on it's own.

  • by russotto (537200) on Monday June 11, 2012 @12:16PM (#40284819) Journal

    But scientists worried it represented a whole new way for invasive species of seaweed, crabs and other marine organisms to break the earth's natural barriers and further muck up the West Coast's marine environments.

    Tsunamis have been happening for a few billion years, and moving stuff around for just as long. Scientists realize that.

    • by rufty_tufty (888596) on Monday June 11, 2012 @12:20PM (#40284891) Homepage

      I think the point is that the invasive species are hitchiking a ride on "a floating dock the size of a boxcar". This is new man-made intervention.

      • by pixelpusher220 (529617) on Monday June 11, 2012 @12:27PM (#40285003)
        The world had a lot more trees before we showed up and cut them down. Said trees don't stand up to a tsunami and in some cases are larger than a box car.

        The size of the vehicle is relatively unimportant as long as it floats. A tree might even be better since it could be eaten on the way by many travelers, whereas a human made dock probably has treated would that isn't edible.
        • Hence, New World monkeys
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by compro01 (777531)

          The world had a lot more trees before we showed up and cut them down. Said trees don't stand up to a tsunami and in some cases are larger than a box car.

          A tree in an ocean will rapidly absorb water, and then sink like a stone and rot without getting far.

          Treated wood won't absorb nearly as much water as quickly, won't rot either, and will float across the ocean with passengers.

          • You keep posting this. Where do you get this wood treatment? 'cause I'm getting tired of having to re-treat my deck.

      • by The Raven (30575)

        You think that large trees never got lost to Tsunamis? With no humanity around to alter the ecology, forests often went right up to the beach. I bet dozens or even thousands of full trees were lost to tidal waves long ago. They would be ideal methods for species transfer.

      • by Guppy06 (410832)

        The fact that it's manmade is the only reason it was recognized as tsunami debris to begin with.

      • I think the point is that the invasive species are hitchiking a ride on "a floating dock the size of a boxcar". This is new man-made intervention.

        True, but such a raft being non-man-made is entirely within the realm of possibility. Some sort of beaver damn gets washed away, collects some other low-density debris on its way to the ocean, floats like a champ, could easily make it across an ocean. It could even be something as simple as a bird nest. We're not the only creatures to construct things that can float. So I still categorize this under "natural".

    • by Jhon (241832) on Monday June 11, 2012 @12:23PM (#40284929) Homepage Journal

      That was my guy reaction, too.

      But, huge GOBS of stuff that can float a REALLY long time *HASN'T* been around that long. MAYBE a tree uprooted might make it across the pacific... or maybe it would be gobbled up or weighted down by stuff in the water before it made it across the ocean.

      But a weather treated pier? Boats? Weather treated lumber for homes? Plastics? I'd think those might be more likely to make it across the ocean.

      • by tlhIngan (30335) <<ten.frow> <ta> <todhsals>> on Monday June 11, 2012 @12:43PM (#40285267)

        But, huge GOBS of stuff that can float a REALLY long time *HASN'T* been around that long. MAYBE a tree uprooted might make it across the pacific... or maybe it would be gobbled up or weighted down by stuff in the water before it made it across the ocean.

        But a weather treated pier? Boats? Weather treated lumber for homes? Plastics? I'd think those might be more likely to make it across the ocean.

        Exactly.

        Stuff that invasive species would've lived on decomposed or deteriorated before they made it too far from their shores (or sank - waterlogged wood from trees does that). It's only in relatively modern times would something that originated somewhere be cast off and arrive at a whole new continent a year or more later still intact...

      • Seems to me boats have been around for years, and likewise docks. Okay, they used to use tar or similar to seal them, but it must have worked. I mean, Columbus did make it across the Atlantic, and he wasn't even the first.

        • OK, everybody who thinks this a new phenomena go out and read Charles Mann's book 1491 [wikipedia.org].

          tl;dr this sort of thing (human introduction of foreign species) has been going on for tens of thousands of years.

          Nothing to see here, move along.

      • MAYBE a tree uprooted might make it across the pacific... or maybe it would be gobbled up or weighted down by stuff in the water before it made it across the ocean.

        Can you say "teak"? Sure you can....

        Note that if you "weather-treat" a teak pier, you'll just make the wood MORE vulnerable to salt-water damage.

      • by ukemike (956477)
        If you've spent time on the Oregon coast you'd know that after certain big storms tons (literally) of stuff from across the sea washes ashore. This stuff consists mostly of plastic and styrofoam. Occasionally there will be an antique hand blown glass buoy (those are really cool). The most common items are commercial fishing floats (plastic), flip-flop parts, wrappers, styrofoam floats, and big plastic floats. How do I know it is from across the ocean? It usually has japanese or chinese writing on it.
    • Tsunamis have been happening for a few billion years, and moving stuff around for just as long. Scientists realize that.

      The problem are the man-made materials and treated woods that will survive an ocean voyage where all other natural materials would not.

      When a floating dock the size of a boxcar washed up on a sandy beach in Oregon

      Docks survive for so long in water because the wood has to be treated or they would blister, bloat and split and become waterlogged. As a result, when one comes loose it can act as a raft indefinitely. Same goes for plastics and foam that might have been used on houses. If you threw an untreated tree or vegetation in the ocean, it would simply never make it.

      All of this will become a moot point, however, when the great pacific garbage patch [wikipedia.org] finally reaches both shores and enables all water based organisms to freely traverse from Asia to North America.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by argStyopa (232550)

        1) where does "driftwood" come from then? I'm nearly certain that land-species (to say nothing of aquatic ones) have been migrating all over the world through all sorts of avenues probably about as likely or frequent as the washing up of what happens-this-time-to-be-a-manmade-object.

        2) Not sure if you were joking, if so my apologies in advance for taking you literally. Of course, anyone who is interested in facts is aware that the 'great pacific garbage patch' (a colossal and deliberately sensational over

        • Answers (Score:5, Interesting)

          by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohnNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Monday June 11, 2012 @01:30PM (#40285977) Journal

          1) where does "driftwood" come from then? I'm nearly certain that land-species (to say nothing of aquatic ones) have been migrating all over the world through all sorts of avenues probably about as likely or frequent as the washing up of what happens-this-time-to-be-a-manmade-object.

          I grew up around 10,000 lakes and was taught that burning driftwood is a very bad idea as it contains chlorine which is, in part, why they look bone white. If a tree falls into water and becomes driftwood, it usually loses its outer layer of bark and all of its leaves. On top of that, any animal that doesn't like chlorine probably wouldn't survive on it. Go pick up a piece of driftwood and look for barnacles ... usually all you'll find are ants and insects that have inhabited it after it washes back up. And, like you would assume, long ago anything that could live in driftwood has probably long ago made the journey by chance. So the key difference with docks is that they are often loaded with barnacles. Many of them that are in bays or calm enough water are floating boxes of wood that are chained together and simply anchored in the beach. They are flat, they often contain tons of organisms seeking shelter on the beach and when they are in water, they often have one side exposed to air (or they wouldn't be used as docks). Sure, some of these have come loose over time but what you had was thousands of them during the tsunami. So that's why the scientists are concerned and, given the large number of objects you can imagine, they may have good reason to be concerned. I don't think anyone's suggesting you quit your job and walk up and down the shore line throwing GPS devices down for the US to nuke from space but locals should take note of strange new insects or anything if they notice them.

          2) Not sure if you were joking, if so my apologies in advance for taking you literally. Of course, anyone who is interested in facts is aware that the 'great pacific garbage patch' (a colossal and deliberately sensational overstatement) is an area of sea where the density of microscopic plastic particulates is 'as high as' a single-digit number per cubic meter of water. I know a lot of people were fooled by environmentalists' clever 'accidental (?) misappropriation' of a picture of some plastic trash floating in the water into thinking that's what the patch is. It's effectively some water where there's a little more plastic DUST.

          I was not joking and I would like to simply point out that what you call "plastic dust" is actually matter and some of it is solid and was not there a hundred years ago. I cheated and I didn't say when this transformation was complete so I could be talking about fifty years or five hundred years from now -- on the other hand I also didn't say which animals and some of them don't need a solid land bridge and are perfectly capable of swimming and have adventured far and wide up the and down the Asian coast. Others are insects that just might need something solid in water to lay eggs on and then a food source. Also, let's not make this sound like some nice homogenous even flowing plastic -- it's full of garbage and shit bigger than your "dust" [nationalgeographic.com] (and that's a Natgeo album, not some treehugger crap). The fact is that unless we stop dumping, at some point it's going to get full and solid enough to start ejecting crap into the currents that line the shores of continent(s) and that's when you will need to take notice of transcontinental species migration.

          Knowledge is power. France is bacon.

        • by ukemike (956477)

          Of course, anyone who is interested in facts is aware that the 'great pacific garbage patch' (a colossal and deliberately sensational overstatement) is an area of sea where the density of microscopic plastic particulates is 'as high as' a single-digit number per cubic meter of water. I know a lot of people were fooled by environmentalists' clever 'accidental (?) misappropriation' of a picture of some plastic trash floating in the water into thinking that's what the patch is. It's effectively some water where there's a little more plastic DUST.

          Anyone who has spent time on the Oregon coast knows from personal experience that sea garbage is a real problem. Sure the trash gyre is mostly made up of very small particles, but this actually increases the degredation of the plastics into toxic by-products such as bisphenol A, PCBs, and derivatives of polystyrene. Also though it may be a low density of trash on a per km^2 basis, the size of it has lead scientists to estimate that there is 100 million tons of garbage. I don't think that it is a "coloss

      • All of this will become a moot point, however, when the great pacific garbage patch finally reaches both shores and enables all water based organisms to freely traverse from Asia to North America.

        Right, because a patch with the density of 5.1kg of material per square km, and whose size estimate (by non-media and non-biased advocacy groups) is about twice the size of Hawaii, is totally gonna form a thousands-of-km-long land bridge that animals can just stroll right over between Asia and N. America.

        I'm not saying the garbage patch isn't an ugly testament to the worst aspects of human activity -- certainly it is -- but at least restrain from spouting nonsense that borders on science fiction. Unless

  • But scientists worried it represented a whole new way for invasive species of seaweed, crabs and other marine organisms to break the earth's natural barriers

    There has never been a tsunami before? WTF?

  • by CdrGlork (1096607) on Monday June 11, 2012 @12:19PM (#40284871)
    I'd hate to see those Japanese tentacle monsters I hear so much about surf their way to the US—I'm not in to that sort of thing.
  • Right.... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by TheCarp (96830) <sjc@@@carpanet...net> on Monday June 11, 2012 @12:22PM (#40284911) Homepage

    a "New Way" eh? Newly thought about, newly discovered, but, hardly new. I am pretty sure species have moved via tsunami for a long time now. "Drifting on ocean currents" itself isn't even a "new way" for a species to spread.

    This "new way" sounds similar to the way some young people each year get the impression that they just invented spanking their sexual partner? ("OMG she actually likes it, can you believe that?")

  • by erroneus (253617) on Monday June 11, 2012 @12:23PM (#40284937) Homepage

    "Speculative news"? Whatever the case is, or what you might want to call it, it's not "news" as it is a speculative report about what may happen or what may be happening without evidence to show it is happening.

    I'm not all for that sort of thing while calling it news. This is hype, not news. It's not even good hype as it suggests ridiculous things like referring to tsunamis as a "whole new way for invasive species...[to mess things up]." Uh no... not new... we "might be" witnessing a dynamic of nature that has been going on since before there was a "man kind." (Before you say anything, "God boy" just don't. It isn't up for discussion.)

  • This is another situation where we could have been preparing for this for a year now but it appears that the do-nothing part of government has done nothing to prepare for it. The government suggests that you recycle the recyclable debris and put the rest in the trash! So let the disaster occur and then we will spend billions of dollars repairing the unknown environmental damage. Education, prepare for further budget cuts; you're just not important anymore.
    • I hope they DON'T do anything. This is nature at work! If we really care about the environment, we should respect natural processes, like Tsunamis, that contribute to the survival of some species, and the extinction of others. This is part of the natural cycle of life. EVERY living species was once an "invasive" species!

    • by P-niiice (1703362)
      Yes why didn't the US Japan Debris Department get their item-by-item inventory of objects that got washed away from japan , track them with their Japan Debris Satellite(DBS) and pinpoint exactly where the stuff was going to land? You tax dollars, WASTED
      • by Relayman (1068986)
        So, instead of wasting tax dollars for prevention, we're going to waste MORE tax dollars to clean up the mess!
  • by istartedi (132515) on Monday June 11, 2012 @12:29PM (#40285047) Journal

    San Francisco Bay is already home to a huge number of non-native species according to a local report. Trade through the port of Oakland is one of many culprits. There has been much talk of requiring different treatment of ship ballast tanks (internal tanks flooded with water to lower and stabilize ships).

    A one-time shot of tsunami debris is nothing compared to the steady onslaught of commerce.

  • I would think this so-called species-invasion would be a fairly regular process. I expect thats how random land animals populated young Pacific islands in the first place: derbis rafting. I would not get all worked up about this.
  • This isn't a bad thing in Mother Nature's book. Species that are better adapted have been unable to get to these new habitats due to natural barriers. Now there's a natural event that has brought them in. And now it's time for evolution to get to work. It's not "disrupting" the balance, it's adjusting it.

    Countless species have become extinct or had to move to other habitats due to evolution within and from outside their primary habitat. It's not Man's job to decide what species "aren't allowed to take

  • "Oh noes! Nature has invented a means to destroy the environment, we're doomed!"
    The US should be in a bubble, you never know what the filthy sea and the annoying wind might bring up next...
    And don't get me started on meteorites!
  • Oh Great! (Score:3, Funny)

    by Widowwolf (779548) on Monday June 11, 2012 @12:51PM (#40285415) Homepage
    More Illegal aliens coming to California..My taxes are sure to go up again to pay for their healthcare, schooling and welfare..And there goes more of my SSI
    • by k6mfw (1182893)
      From another forum: "OK, Japanese writing on barge, phone number of Japanese company on barge... it must be from Nebraska."
  • This is probably how Darwin's finches came about, via a big storm or tsunami along South America's west coast.

    Think of the big tsunami in Chile a few years ago. It is in fact perhaps more likely that a tsunami brings more debris than a storm, even if I'm not sure which is more prone to bring out debris into the open sea.

  • I don't know much about ocean species, but hopefully no Japanese Hornets hitched a ride as well. I'd hate to have them over here.

    It is a large insect and adults can be more than 4 centimetres (1.6 in) long, with a wingspan greater than 6 centimetres (2.4 in). ...
    Being stung is extremely painful and requires hospital treatment. On average 40 people die every year of anaphylactic shock after having been stung,[1] which makes the Japanese giant hornet the most lethal animal in Japan, as bears kill about ten p

  • I've always hated the whole "saving the planet" "green" concepts. Polluting less and all that is a great way to preserve the current human-likable climate, but that's about it. The planet can handle our measily polluting quite easily.

    But here's the exact opposite. Last I checked, tsunamis are perfectly natural events. "invasive species" gaining access to new lands is a perfectly typical historical circumstance. Stopping those species from landing on distant shores amounts to limiting their movements.

    St

  • Japan in particular and the eastern edge of Eurasia in general has been getting hit by tsunami for millions of years. This might be the first piece of debris to make it across the ocean in this century, but it certainly isn't the first to ever make it across.

    Tree trunks have been used for harbourage for millennia, and they accumulate sealife like anything else in the sea.

% APL is a natural extension of assembler language programming; ...and is best for educational purposes. -- A. Perlis

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