SEATTLE, Washington — A 150 foot Japanese fishing vessel, believed to be washed out to sea by an earthquake and tsunami last March, has appeared off the coast of British Columbia and is expected to drift north toward Alaska, according to NOAA.
Sen. Mark Begich (D-Alaska) learned more about the errant ship and the possibility of additional tsunami debris during a briefing in Seattle, Friday.
Begich and Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Washington) are asking that President Obama direct emergency research funds at groups which would study incoming debris and forecast its path.
They worry foreign objects could soon litter the West Coast, damaging fisheries, interrupting transportation, and possibly harming delicate ecosystems.
“It’s not a theory, it’s actually happening,” said Begich, “we’re trying to send a message to the administration that this is a serious issue.”
The lawmakers are also asking that the federal government develop a formal response plan for dealing with incoming debris.