Fukushima Fish Sale

News & Views - June 27th, 2012

Fish from Fukushima is back on sale.

Octopus and whelk, reports the Asahi Shimbun, were the only items on sale in the markets on June 25th, after being tested for radioactive cesium, while others, such as flounder and sea bass are not yet approved for sale, after the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant leaked radioactive chemicals when the earthquake and tsunami tore through northeastern Japan.

Despite persisting fears, about 30 kg (65 pounds) of whelk and 40 kg (90 pounds) of octopus were sold out by 3 p.m. on the day of the sale, according to an official in charge of Fukushima’s fishing cooperative.

The government is presently testing for cesium and radioactive iodine in crabs and other kinds of fish. However, concerns whether consumers from other prefectures will purchase Fukushima seafood remains. University of Tokyo professor Nobuyuki Yagi is concerned for Fukushima’s fishing industry. “Fishing cannot survive unless people buy the fish, the key lay in finding the types of fish that don’t store radioactive elements.” he said in a statement to AP.

Would you buy fish from Fukushima? This could be worrying news, especially as we are hearing such mixed reports from professors, local government spokesmen and industry figures. Of course people want to get their businesses back on solid ground but whether the public are being put at risk is something which will, perhaps, never be clear with so many different voices.