Finally scientists have confirmed what we saw coming from 6,000 miles away: pacific bluefin tuna are now contaminated with significant amounts of radioactive cesium and who-knows-what other isotopes.
Testing of bluefin tuna caught off the coast of California revealed that every one tested contained radiocesium in concentrations as much as 10bq/kq. To put that number in perspective, 100bq/kg would be considered low-level radioactive waste under U.S. environmental law and require special disposal. So, it’s only 10% as bad as officially radioactive waste. Yum!
And to get a little more perspective, here are some of the numbers coming back in fish in Japan, found at Jan Hemmer’s blog: http://tekknorg.wordpress.com/2012/06/07/latest-food-measurements-japan/
No.109, 111: Fukushima Prefecture greenling (Cs: 160,910 Bq / kg)
No.112, 113: stone flounder in Fukushima Prefecture (Cs: 140,210 Bq / kg)
No.116, 175: Ezoainame Fukushima Prefecture (Cs: 240, 110Bq/kg)
No.121, 179: Fukushima Prefecture fox rockfish (Cs: 210,590 Bq / kg)
Rockfish Fukushima Prefecture: No.124 (Cs: 110 Bq / kg)
No.126, 181: Komonkasube Fukushima Prefecture (Cs: 330,110 Bq / kg)
No.129, 130,185,186: Shiromebaru Fukushima Prefecture (Cs: 220 ~ 1000 Bq / kg)
Croaker, Fukushima Prefecture: No.132 (Cs: 130 Bq / kg)
No.133, 134: slime flounder in Fukushima Prefecture (Cs: 270,470 Bq / kg)
Flounder in Fukushima Prefecture: No.138 (Cs: 120 Bq / kg)
Chelidonichthys Fukushima Prefecture: No.139 (Cs: 120 Bq / kg)
Spotted halibut Fukushima Prefecture: No.140 (Cs: 110 Bq / kg)
Marbled sole Fukushima Prefecture: No.145 (Cs: 310 Bq / kg)
No.151, 152: Murasoi Fukushima Prefecture (Cs: 140,310 Bq / kg)
Strongylocentrotus nudus Fukushima Prefecture: No.161 (Cs: 120 Bq / kg)
Usumebaru Fukushima Prefecture: No.174 (Cs: 270 Bq / kg)
The numbers are truly shocking. Some of the higher ones would qualify as high-level radioactive waste.
These tuna almost certainly were born off the coast of Japan and recently migrated to the U.S. west coast. The really bad news is that scientists expect the levels to get worse over the next year as tuna that have spent longer in Japanese waters continue to migrate across the pacific.
The glowing sushi jokes that have been circulating for over a year weren’t funny when they started and still aren’t – not because they are inappropriate (they are inappropriate), I just haven’t heard a good one yet. Maybe the radiation has rotted our sense of humor…
At this point, unfortunately it isn’t just the jokes that stink.
It appears that 200 metric tons of sardines have washed up on the shore in Chiba Prefecture, and the odor can be smelled quite a distance from the port. Strange fish kills have been on the rise for years due to the havoc humans have been wreaking on the environment, but the proximity to the largest industrial accident in the history of the world is definitely suggestive of a cause.
Here is a picture of the port, that’s not sand, those are dead fish and that is blood in the water:
Less than a week after that, Mochizuki at Fukushima Diary reports about a similar occurrence – quite a ways away from Chiba in Kanagwa prefecture, along with this photo:
News media both in Japan and worldwide have parroted the line that the ocean will dilute the radionuclides to insignificant numbers. But history clearly shows that radionuclides persist in the marine environment and accumulate in food chains to a significant degree for a very, very long time. Dilution isn’t a very assuring idea, when there are 439 nuclear reactors around the world, all of them releasing radioactivity in the environment!
What You Can Do:
This blog is loaded with info on how to protect yourself from radiation. If you haven’t already, I highly suggest reading my posts on Probiotics, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, and Pectin, and check out the archives as well.
In addition, I encourage you to limit your intake of seafood, especially from the Pacific. Avoid larger predatory fish, such as tuna or shark that tend to bioaccumulate toxic elements. This list describes which fish to avoid in order to decrease mercury exposure, and similar principles should apply with radionuclides.
I also encourage you to practice anti-nuclear activism and make personal choices that decrease our dependency on nuclear power.