TOKYO, August 9 (Kyodo) – Fish caught at a port about 55 kilometers from the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant contained radioactive cesium at levels exceeding an allowable limit, the environmental group Greenpeace said Tuesday.
The samples taken at Onahama port in Iwaki, Fukushima Prefecture, in late July, included a species of rockfish that measured 1,053 becquerels per kilogram. The reading, the highest among the samples, is well in excess of the government-set limit of 500 becquerels per kilogram, according to a study conducted by the environmental group.
The other samples, which were all rock trout, measured between 625 and 749 becquerels per kilogram, again exceeding the provisional limit.
The second such study of marine products was conducted over three days from July 22 in Iwaki and the town of Shinchi with cooperation of fishermen and those related to the fisheries industry in Fukushima. A total of 21 samples taken in the study were analyzed at a research institute in France, according to the group.
"There is no allowable limit for internal exposure that can conclusively be said not to pose any problems," Greenpeace said in a petition submitted to Prime Minister Naoto Kan on Tuesday, noting the need to keep consumption of the food containing elevated levels of radioactive materials to a minimum.
The petition also calls for tougher marine-product monitoring and for requiring businesses to display the level of radioactive materials contained in food products on the label.
By Justin McKeating
9 August 2011
Our team of radiation experts has found high levels of radiation in seafood caught by Japanese fishermen off the coast of Japan. This, along with the news that the Japanese government covered up the true extent of radiation releases from Fukushima and so put people in danger, shows it is long past time that urgent, transparent action was taken by officials.
At a press conference in Japan earlier today (video here and here), we explained how our radiation experts had visited ports in Iwaki prefecture between 22nd and 24th of July and conducted sampling of seafood with the help from local fishermen. The French laboratories ACRO and CRIIRAD analysed the radioactive contamination and detected high levels of radioactivity in a number of samples. This means that the contamination of the Fukushima coast is still very serious.
Greenpeace has therefore requested the Japanese government to make the labelling of seafood products mandatory and to indicate the radiation levels and fishing area, as supermarkets are not providing enough information to their customers. Radiation monitoring procedures should also be strengthened and food distribution regulations tightened.
All this should be done as urgently as possible. Trawl fishing season is about to begin in Fukushima and Ibaraki. This is now a race against time – seafood is a huge part of the Japanese diet. Unlike for beef, laws are not in place to trace the origin of fish and seafood. Relying on the government’s inadequate monitoring does not guarantee people’s safety if contaminated seafood reaches the market. […]
(Greenpeace’s marine research data can be seen here.)