Collection Data

Page Contents: Section | Significance | Background | Location & Dates | Taxonomic Contents | Documentation | Description of Collection | Collection Inventory | Collection Assets

Japanese Docks 2012

Section Responsible for Processing



These polychaetes were collected from docks, boats, and other marine debris that was carried off during the 2011 Tohoku earthquake & tsunami only to land on US shores starting in 2012. Organisms living on the docks are coastal species with the potential to establish themselves in the eastern Pacific. Some Japanese polychaetes are thought to have been introduced here. These specimens will serve as comparative material to confirm if previous reports of Japanese species & future ones are correct.


A 66 x 19 x 7 feet floating dock was found stranded on Agate Beach, Oregon, on 4 June 2012. It had been torn out of Misawa Harbor, northern Honshu, on 11 March 2011. Scientists at Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport sampled the organisms living on the dock. Leslie Harris (NHMLAC Polychaete Collections Manager) went to Hatfield in July to sort samples and identify the polychaetes. Another Misawa dock washed ashore in the Olympic Peninsula National Marine Sanctuary in late December, 2012. Harris went to Washington to again assist in collecting & identifying polychaetes. More worms from boats & large pieces of debris that continued to arrive throughout 2012 and 2013 were sent to her as well. These were all kept for the collection.

Collection Location and Dates

Oregon and Washington, 2012-2013.

Taxonomic Contents



Information is held in the Polychaete Office.

Description of Collection

Wet preserved collection. Some specimens were original fixed in 5% formalin and later transferred to 70% ethanol, some originally preserved and kept in 95% ethanol, some were first frozen then transferred to 70% ethanol. Specimens that were frozen are in poor shape.

Collection Inventory

Approximately 100 species lots plus several large unsorted samples to be processed.

Collection Assets

No collection assets available.

Curatorial Status (Click to view)