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Discussion regarding Tsunami Debris in Vancouver - Predicted a Fewer Items than Expected have been Arrived

Discussion regarding Tsunami Debris in Vancouver - Predicted a Fewer Items than Expected have been Arrived

Woods and debris collected by Clarkson, which seemed to have been used for Japanese houses

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 Experts convened discussion regarding tsunami debris at Vancouver Aquarium (845 Avison Way, Tel: 604-659-3474) on September 10th. More than fifty public listened hard to the state of debris and action which is being taken.

 Dr. Richard Thomson, who belongs to Department of Fisheries and Oceans of B.C., explained, ‘The estimated amount of tsunami debris which is still drifting is about 1.5 million tons out of about 5 million tons, which resulted in generating from the earthquake.’ He researched the influence by current of the sea and wind. ‘Most of them will sink under the sea without arriving at the shorelines of B.C. or arrive at “Garbage Patch” of the Pacific Ocean and return back to Japan at five years’ cycle.’ He mentioned that the influence to B.C. might be less than expected.

 Paul Kluckner, co-chair of the Canada/British Columbia Tsunami Debris Coordinating Committee, explained, ‘Most of the debris are plastics, fisheries nets, and woods. A pier arrived at the shorelines of the U.S. Fishing boats and small boasts were also found at the northern part of B.C. No potentially invasive species (on the big debris) have been found to have an influence on the B.C. ecosystem. None of the debris has shown signs of radiation. There have been no issues at all as the radiation is at normal background level.’

 Peter Clarkson, who creates art work by utilizing shoreline debris at Pacific Rim National Park Reserve in Vancouver Island, Tofino, said, ‘The amount of garbage has not been decreased yet even though many people like Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup in their twentieth anniversary have continued to clean up shorelines.’ He also explained the current situation, ‘Most of garbage collected cannot be recyclable and have any places to go.’ He showed slide photos of his art work and collected garbage, I hope my art work gives an opportunity for people to be interested in garbage issues.’

 Clarkson uses debris from Japan, which has been found since last year. He said, ‘When the tsunami generated, we got evacuation call even though we are 7,000 kilometers away from Japan. Many people around me, who live near shorelines, distress themselves as they don’t think of the tsunami as what happened in a distant country.’

 Many fisheries nets, buoys, and plastics were found before. Clarkson looked back, ‘One morning I saw many woods were on the shorelines at a time. When I examined the shapes, I found they were used for Japanese houses. I felt very terrible as I thought somebody used to live in a house (built by using these woods).’ He will continue to clean up the shorelines from now on. He showed his opinions, ‘I hope to create cenotaph by using debris from Japan.’ His art work has been displayed at Vancouver Aquarium until the end of September.

(Translated by Hiroko Shioda)

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