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Japanese Fish Hitch Ride On Boat To Wash. Beach

April 8, 2013 | AP
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  • This striped beakfish from Japan apparently hitched a ride in a small boat after the 2011 tsunami. It reached the Washington coast last month and is being exhibited at Oregon's Seaside Aquarium credit: Seaside Aquarium/Tiffany Boothe
This striped beakfish from Japan apparently hitched a ride in a small boat after the 2011 tsunami. It reached the Washington coast last month and is being exhibited at Oregon's Seaside Aquarium | credit: Seaside Aquarium/Tiffany Boothe | rollover image for more

LONG BEACH, Wash. — What a long, strange trip it’s been for a small striped fish native to Japan that apparently hitched a cross-Pacific ride in a small boat believed to be part of a tide of debris from that country’s March 2011 tsunami.

Washington state Fish and Wildlife Department biologists found five of the striped beakfish alive in a water-filled bait box on a 20-foot-long Japanese boat that washed ashore last month at Long Beach in southwest Washington.

Invasive species specialists also found a host of other Japanese species of sea anemones, cucumbers, scallops and worms living in what they call the very rare “aquarium” of water that pooled inside the upright boat.

Biologist Allen Pleus says except for one fish that the Seaside, Ore. Aquarium has agreed to quarantine and exhibit, the rest of the critters were euthanized to minimize the risk of introducing invasive species to Washington.

© 2013 AP
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