NEWS ALERT-Should You Rethink Eating Seafood from the Pacific?

Sorry to go off topic, but when I saw this today, I felt an obligation to share it. I don’t like seafood, but others I love do. This story has not been verified. I am sharing it here to provide information. It’s up to you to see if it is true through your own research.

On the financial news web page, I found an article about radiation discovered in 15 separate bluefin tuna LAST SUMMER by government test agencies. Only now is the news breaking. The story quotes several mainstream media sources. The full article can be read here:

Read what news sources are saying after interviewing those involved in testing the fish.

CNN reports today:

Low levels of radioactive cesium from Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident turned up in fish caught off California in 2011, researchers reported Monday.

The bluefin spawn off Japan, and many migrate across the Pacific Ocean. Tissue samples taken from 15 bluefin caught in August, five months after the meltdowns at Fukushima Daiichi, all contained reactor byproducts cesium-134 and cesium-137 at levels that produced radiation about 3% higher than natural background sources

The Wall Street Journal quotes the studies’ authors:

“The tuna packaged it up and brought it across the world’s largest ocean,” said marine ecologist Daniel Madigan at Stanford University, who led the study team. “We were definitely surprised to see it at all and even more surprised to see it in every one we measured.”


“We found that absolutely every one of them had comparable concentrations of cesium-134 and cesium-137,” said marine biologist Nicholas Fisher at Stony Brook University in New York state, who was part of the study group.

As Reuters points out:

Unlike some other compounds, radioactive cesium does not quickly sink to the sea bottom but remains dispersed in the water column, from the surface to the ocean floor.

Fish can swim right through it, ingesting it through their gills, by taking in seawater or by eating organisms that have already taken it in ….

As CNN notes:

Neither [of the scientists who tested the fish] thought they were likely to find cesium at all, they said. And since the fish tested were born about a year before the disaster, “This year’s fish are going to be really interesting,” Madigan said.

“There were fish born around the time of the accident, and those are the ones showing up in California right now,” he said. “Those have been, for the most part, swimming around in those contaminated waters their whole lives.”

As KGTV San Diego explains:

The real test of how radioactivity affects tuna populations comes this summer when researchers planned to repeat the study with a larger number of samples.  Bluefin tuna that journeyed last year were exposed to radiation for about a month. The upcoming travelers have been swimming in radioactive waters for a longer period. How this will affect concentrations of contamination remains to be seen.

One of the studies’ authors told the BBC:

The fish that will be arriving around now, and in the coming months, to California waters may be carrying considerably more radioactivity and if so they may possibly be a public health hazard.
READING THIS PUTS A WHOLE NEW SPIN ON MY RECENT WORKS: Haiku “Something Dark This Way Comes” and my 55 word flash fiction piece “The Good Ship Diaspora.”

3 responses »

  1. this disappointments in so many ways. i really enjoy seafood, and unfortunately, i am now fighting the urge to pick up seafood on the way home from work 😦

    • Hi! I guess it depends where you live. If you are inland, you can eat fish and shellfish from fresh water sources. So far, the Atlantic is not impacted by radiation, though the large migratory fishes travel the globe. Likely no one is looking or testing. (Remember: the CA guys weren’t expecting to find anything, then voila — every fish tested showed radiation levels above the environmental norm.) Eat lower on the food chain — you’ll minimize your mercury intake, too. Eat the Atlantic or North Sea little guys that feed the medium sized boys that feed the big boys. 🙂

  2. Goodness. The things we are doing to our planet frighten me. The things that I can eat is becoming a slim list 😦

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