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Endangered mussel surfs Japanese tsunami debris to British Columbia

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Nicole Karkic
Weather Broadcaster

Saturday, April 26, 2014, 3:35 PM -

The massive tsunami that devastated northeastern Japan in 2011 washed about five million tonnes of debris out to sea. About 70 per cent of it eventually sank off the Japanese coast. 

The remaining 1.5 million tonnes was dispersed by waves and ocean currents. Some of that debris even ended up on the shores of British Columbia. 

Recently, the federal fisheries department identified an endangered species of mussel that likely hitched a ride. The Korean Mussel floated across the Pacific Ocean on debris thought to have originated in Japan. 

RELATED: Scientists pinpoint cause of devastating 2011 Japan tsunami

The mollusk has been over fished in Asia, and is at risk of going extinct there. 

Now that it's on this side of the ocean, there are concerns it could become an invasive species. The federal fisheries department has an action plan in place to address that threat.

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