Small items identified as Japanese in origin may be from the earthquake and tsunami which hit Japan in March, 2011.
Steve Soltysik is debating the question and has contacted the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration about several pieces discovered during a recent beach clean up of Nawiliwili Harbor on the windward side of the breakwater.
Soltysik and volunteers, including Kaua‘i Community College Oceanography professor Ann Jorgenson and KCC student Rowan McGrath made the discovery while scouring the shoreline for marine debris during the clean up.
The volunteers found two small plastic containers with labels indicating the containers once held calligraphy ink and a larger container indicating heating fuel once occupied the container.
“All three containers have been identified as Japanese in origin,” Soltysik said in an email. “They do appear to have been at sea for an extended period of time and it is questionable if they are part of the tsunami marine debris from Japan.”
Soltysik said the items will be turned over to the NOAA to determine its age and whether, or not, it is tsunami debris.
To date, two confirmed tsunami debris have been discovered in Hawai‘i, states the Associated Press.
A large blue plastic bin from Fukushima was found in waters off Waimanalo, O‘ahu, Sept. 19, and last week, fishermen found a skiff from Iwate about 800 miles north of Maui.
Also on Sept. 19, fishermen off the coast of Moloka‘i reported seeing a large dock floating.
The state Department of Land and Natural Resources believes that item is identical to three docks reported missing from Japan following last year’s earthquake and tsunami, the AP said. A similar dock washed up on an Oregon beach in June.
On Monday, the DLNR was contemplating how to remove a large metal object which washed ashore on the Big Island’s southern coast, states an AP story.
DLNR spokeswoman Deborah Ward said the yellow object measuring 10 to 15 feet in height and about 20 feet in diameter does not have any markings which would help identify its origin and the DLNR is not clear whether the debris might be from the tsunami.
The NOAA is asking people to email reports of marine debris sightings to firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Dennis Fujimoto, photographer and staff writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 253) or dfujimoto@ thegardenisland.com.