Fukushima fish “may be inedible for a decade”
Fish from the waters around the Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan could be too radioactive to eat for a decade to come, as samples show that radioactivity levels remain elevated and show little sign of coming down, a marine scientist has warned.
According to a paper published in the journal Science on Thursday, large and bottom-dwelling species carry most risk, which means cod, flounder, halibut, pollock, skate and sole from the waters in question could be off-limits for years.
Sample fish caught in waters near the stricken reactors suggest there is still a source of caesium either on the seafloor or still being discharged into the sea, perhaps from what is left of the cooling waters. As the levels of radioactive isotopes in the fish are not declining as fast as they should have, the outlook for fishing in the area is likely to be poor for the next 10 years, the paper's author told the Guardian.
"These fish could have to be banned for a long time. The most surprising thing for me was that the levels [of radioactivity] in the fish were not going down. There should have been much lower numbers," said Ken Buesseler, senior scientist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in the United States, who wrote the paper titled Fishing For Answers Off Fukushima.