State and federal agencies officially learned that the Sai-shou-maru – the 20-foot boat that washed ashore near Long Beach in March, with several live fish inside, came from Japan.
The state Emergency Management Division (EMD) and NOAA received confirmation from the Consulate-General of Japan in Seattle.
The consulate told EMD and NOAA officials the original owner does not wish to have the Sai-shou-maru returned.
Washington State Parks now has possession of the boat and is working with the Columbia River Maritime Museum in Astoria to place it on permanent loan there.
Besides the five striped beakfish found in the open well of the boat when it washed ashore, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife estimates 30 to 50 species of plants and animals were also on the Sai-shou-maru – including potential invasive species.
State officials quickly removed the Sai-shou-maru from the beach and collected samples of potential invasive species including the fish, algae, crabs, marine worms and shellfish.
These specimens are of great scientific value as scientists attempt to understand how they could have survived such a long journey and whether they pose a threat to Washington and the West Coast.