Coming to a Store Near You: Radioactive Fish?


As I pointed out in April, the FDA is refusing to test fish for radioactivity, even though water currents will eventually bring debris from Fukushima:

The debris mass, which appears as an island from the air, contains cars, trucks, tractors, boats and entire houses floating in the current heading toward the U.S. and Canada, according to ABC News.The bulk of the debris will likely not be radioactive, as it was presumably washed out to sea during the initial tsunami – before much radioactivity had leaked. But this shows the power of the currents from Japan to the West Coast.

Of course, fish don’t necessarily stay still, either. For example, the Telegraph notes that scientists tagged a bluefin tuna and found that it crossed between Japan and the West Coast three times in 600 days:

Tuna migration graphic

That might be extreme, but the point is that fish exposed to radiation somewhere out in the ocean might end up in U.S. waters.

Nuclear engineer Arnie Gundersen doesn’t think there will be a risk within the next year. But as the plume spreads across the Pacific, and as small fish get eaten by bigger fish (i.e. bioaccumulation), it would be prudent to measure radiation in fish caught off the West Coast of the U.S. (and Hawaii), and Gundersen suggests we contact our representatives and demand measurement:

The Telegraph confirmed recently that one year seems to be about the right time frame:

The waste will move at a speed of between 5 and 10 miles a day, catching the North Pacific Current and crossing the ocean in as little as 12 months.

Off the coast of California, debris is expected to circulate either north or south, taking either the Alaskan or North Equatorial currents back to the western reaches of the ocean.

Much is predicted to end up caught in the vortex of the Eastern Garbage Patch, which is estimated to measure between 270,000 square miles and 5.8 million square miles.

“Over time plastic debris eventually fragments into tiny particles creating ‘plastic plankton’ or ‘microplastic,’ which is a serious long-term concern, particularly for marine food webs.” the organisation said.


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  • barbara beissert

    Truth to the information that Japan is going to provide monies to help in this horrible event through insurance plan?

  • Patricia Fenkell

    Salmon and freshwater fish here in the US should be tested. None is immune. That the EPA would add a “medium” to keep record of doesn’t seem likely. As you find, for the most part they have stopped reporting or states have stopped monitoring. I find it unfathomable, irresponsible, unconscionable really that agencies would stop testing/reporting after March 2011, if they tested at all. Anyone would see the value in continuing to monitor air, water, milk after such a cataclysmic event.

    Radiation levels should be a feature of the daily air quality report. Add to that the water and milk report.

    Thank you for your comprehensive reporting!

    • Nuclear expert Arnie Gundersen says that high-level friends in the State Department told him that Hillary Clinton signed a pact with her counterpart in Japan agreeing that the U.S. will continue buying seafood from Japan, despite that food not being tested for radioactive materials

  • the corrupt world order

    the reason they dont say the radiation leval is they dont want that profit to effect the food chain sales. besides the asians sushi freaks and mexicans eat all that contaminated fish anyway. eat on you fools.!!!!

  • All the fish in the sea are already detectably radioactive, primarily due to the 14 naturally-occurring elements found in our radiant universe. The most abundant of mother nature’s radioactive materials found in the sea is Potassium (isotope 40), at many, many times higher abundance than will ever be the case with Fukushima Cesium (isotopes 134 and 137). The concentration of K-40 should always be used for comparative purposes with Fukushima isotopic levels. Just because radioactive materials can be detected, does not mean they are dangerous or will ever, in any way hurt anyone. This blog openly proclaims the apocalyptic fantasies of Arnie Gundersen, as well as many other street corner prophets of nuclear energy doom. It’s about time to give this some real-world balance…don’t you think?