Remember that 20-FOOT BOAT that washed up on the Long Beach (Wash.) Peninsula a couple of weeks ago? It’s pictured, inset, courtesy of KOMO News. It was thought to be tsunami debris, and likely is, but even more intriguing was that among the boat’s STOWAWAYS were SIX STRIPED BEAKFISH, a semitropical reef dwelling fish.

According to a story in the Los Angeles Times (http://tinyurl.com/boatbeakfish), the fish probably tagged along with the boat as it came across the ocean, swimming in and out of the bait box, which was partially submerged in the stern.

Five of the fish were euthanized to prevent the introduction of a new invasive species.

“(SEASIDE) AQUARIUM curator KEITH CHANDLER said he was called to City Hall in nearby Long Beach, Wash., not long after the boat washed up in late March and shown the surviving fish ... swimming in a bucket,” the article says. A photo of the survivor, taken by TIFFANY BOOTHE of the aquarium, is shown.

“They didn’t want to let this fish go, and they didn’t want to let it die. They didn’t know what to do with it,” Chandler was quoted as saying. “So we decided to put it on display, where people can take a look at this long-distance traveler.”

It’s a happy ending for the hitchhiker. Tiffany assures the Ear that “the fish is eating and doing well” at the aquarium.

— Elleda Wilson

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