Saturday, February 9, 2013


What you are looking at in this photo is a 'murasoi" fish which is like a rockfish. But this is not just any old fish. It is the fish that holds the world's record for radiation contamination.

The fish was caught recently in Japan - near an unloading point north of the No. 1 through No. 4 reactors of the Fukushima Daiichi plant. (Reminder: on March 11, 2011, a 9.0 magnitude earthquake and huge tsunami devastated the Fukushima region of Japan and set off a triple meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi plant). The Tokyo Electric Power company (TEPCO) admits that the fish contains 254,000 Becquerel per kilogram of cesium - which amounts to 2,540 times Japan's limit for radiation in seafood.

Alright, it is true that no fishermen operate in this area. And, rockfish are "homebodies" in that they do not travel long distances. But what about radiation in other fish? Almost two years after the Fukushima Daiichi tragedy, is this an issue?

Several reports, based on testing of radiation in various kinds of fish from different parts of the ocean off Japan, argue that contamination of waters and seafood near this area - and, even further away - is an ongoing issue.

Why could this still be a problem, after almost two years? Last October, TEPCO admitted that radiation leaks at the plant had not fully stopped. Some kinds of radiation also hangs around in the water for a while, and fish can swim right through it and take in contaminated seawater through their gills or eat organisms that carry radiation. It then accumulates in their muscle tissue.

But, before you give up eating wild-caught fish, remember that controls do exist in most countries, and any imports from Japan have been under additional scrutiny for radiation.

To your good health,

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