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Japanese boat pieces, possible tsunami debris, to be removed

  • A blue bin with Japanese writing washed ashore at Larsen's Beach on Kauai earlier this week.

LIHUE >> Pieces of what appear to be a Japanese fishing boat are slated for removal after they were found in a Kapaa canal and reported to state Department of Land and Natural Resources.

Experts can’t tell if the boat and other Japanese debris that washed ashore in recent months are from the 2011 tsunami, the Garden Island  newspaper in Lihue reported Tuesday.

The two large boat pieces that washed up in the Uhelekawawa Canal are similar to features found on Japanese fishing boats that have previously washed ashore, said Carl Berg, chairman of the Surfrider Foundation’s Kauai chapter.

"It must have come up with the very high tides last week, when the other stuff came in," Berg said in an email.

It’s not uncommon for large debris to wash ashore. Last year, Surfrider documented a total of 58 miscellaneous items from refrigerators to a sailboat wound up on Kauai shores.

Last week a large plastic container with Japanese markings washed up on Kaakaaniu Beach. Another one was found at the Big Island’s Kamilo Beach and was removed by Hawaii Wildlife Fund volunteers.

Department of Land and Natural Resources crews last week retrieved a 20-foot skiff bearing Japanese characters and vessel registration numbers near Oahu’s Sandy Beach.

Leaving the debris in the canal could bring invasive species and could harm the reef, Berg said. He has reported the debris to state and federal agencies and requested its removal.

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