TOKYO — A wide variety of marine life is making its home around underwater debris left there as a result of tsunami triggered by the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake.

According to research conducted off the Tohoku region’s Sanriku coast by organizations including the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology, more than 10 times as many marine organisms live in the areas with debris as in areas without it.

Ragworms, Gammaridea crustaceans and other marine organisms live around the debris, and channel rockfish, conger and snow crabs come to prey on them.

Areas around the debris may become fishing grounds in the future, according to JAMSTEC.

The research was conducted by JAMSTEC, Tokai University and other organizations from March 2012 to November 2015. They examined the seabed at a depth of about 393 feet to 3281 feet, and at a distance of about 13 to 21 miles off the Sanriku coast of Iwate and Miyagi prefectures.

Researchers analyzed pictures taken by a robot. An average of 114 creatures per square meter were found around the debris, which includes fishing gear, pieces of concrete and scrap wood. This was 14 times more than areas five meters away from the debris, and 25 times more than areas 10 meters away.

Participants said they found ragworms on the debris, while Gammaridea crustaceans were using the debris to conceal themselves.

The Environment Ministry estimated that about 5 million tons of debris were washed into the sea by tsunami following the Great East Japan Earthquake. About 3.3 million tons of that accumulated on the seabed off the Sanriku coast.