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Japanese Tsunami Marine Debris (JTMD): Preservation and Custodianship of an Extraordinary Archive of Biological Samples

In 2016, Fisheries and Oceans Canada funded $25,000 to the North Pacific Marine Science Organization (PICES) to support the preservation and custodianship of an extraordinary archive of biological samples collected from marine debris associated with the 2011 Japanese Tsunami – a giant sea wave that reached heights of up to 40.5 metres. It is expected that this initiative will ensure sophisticated custodianship and permanent access to this unique archive for the scientific community, including scientists from PICES member countries, molecular geneticists, marine invertebrate systematists, biogeographers, ecologists, managers, and others. Extreme events such as tsunamis usually bring devastating impacts to mind, though such events sometimes create unexpected opportunities. Since 2012, an archive of more than 1,000 biological samples has been gathered from 635 objects (as of last count) that were transported to North America and Hawaii by ocean currents following the 2011 earthquake off the Pacific coast of northern Japan.

Project Number: PAC2016.9
Year: 2016
Partner: North Pacific Marine Science Organization
Principal Investigator(s): Alexander Bychkov
Eco-region: Pacific

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