Over a number of months now, the media has paid much attention to the possibility of large amounts of debris arriving on North America’s west coast. This debris has been adrift and travelling across the Pacific Ocean since the Japanese tsunami struck last March and should continue to reach the west coast over the next few years. Last week, the first sign of these drifts came in the form of an abandoned Japanese fishing boat. The 50-metre vessel was spotted off the coastline of Haida Gwaii (formerly Queen Charlotte Islands), where it currently is being monitored by the government. The owner of the ship has been notified, and future action is yet to be determined.
Scientists at the University of Hawaii say a field of about 18 million tonnes of debris is slowly being carried by ocean currents toward North America.
The field is estimated to be about 3,200 kilometres long and 1,600 kilometres wide.
Scientists have estimated some of the debris would hit B.C. shores by 2014.