With tons of radioactive water leaking into the Pacific Ocean since the nuclear accident at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in Japan in 2011, there have been many concerns about sea life contamination and whether or not it’s safe to continue eating seafood from these waters.
In 2011, radiation was found in bluefin tuna caught off the coast of California. Cesium-137 and cesium-134 were detected in the tuna only a few months after the nuclear accident. While some experts say that it is safe to consume fish from the Pacific and that the radiation levels are not harmful to humans, many others have doubts. This situation is particularly concerning since the U.S. imported 45 million pounds of fish from Japan in 2012.
PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences) has reported unequivocally that Pacific bluefin tuna transported Fukushima-derived radionuclides from Japan to California. The report states that “The levels of radioactive cesium were 10 times higher than the amount measured in tuna off the California coast in previous years.” It also states that other large migratory animals may also carry radionuclides from Japan to northern and southern regions of the Pacific Ocean.
Other reasons to be wary of seafood safety are the mysterious ailments affecting animals in the Pacific including:
- Pacific herring in Canada bleeding from their eyeballs, tails, faces, and fins.
- Melting starfish, where the starfish disintegrate and melt into a jelly-like substance.
- Unusual occurrences in the killer whale population off the coast of British Columbia, such as decreased vocalization and the death of seven matriarchs and reproductive-age males.
- Polar bears in Alaska suffering from open sores and hair loss.
- Dead sea lions on the coast of California.
Although we have been assured that seafood from the Pacific is safe, the U.S. has recently banned fishery imports from 14 prefectures in Japan. In an interesting twist, China has recently banned all shellfish from the U.S. Northwest, Northern California, and Alaska due to high levels of arsenic and a toxin that causes paralytic shellfish poisoning.
The California Medical Association reports that the AMA (American Medical Association) has called for the testing of fish sold in the U.S. for radiation contamination and the full reporting of the results along with the health risks of eating such food. As of yet, the FDA has not complied.
In the end, it is up to us to decide whether or not we feel comfortable eating seafood from the Pacific Ocean. I have stopped eating seafood because I am not convinced that it is safe. Until thorough studies are done on the contamination and radiation levels in the Pacific Ocean and the complete results are released to the world, we have no real way of knowing what’s safe and what isn’t.
Steve Elwart, Japan radiation poisoning America? , WND
Health Associated Press and KOMO Staff, Researcher: High death rate, ‘puzzling’ behavior in B.C. Orcas, Komo News
Mark Hume, Disease killing Pacific herring threatens salmon, scientist warns,The Globe and Mail
Meena Hart Duerson, Polar bears suffer from mysterious illness causing patchy hair, open sores, Daily News