Fukushima Fallout: Japanese Fishing Boats Catch Radioactive Rockfish

Fukushima fallout: Japanese fishing co-op catches radiated rockfish (Voice of Russia, Feb 28, 2014):

Japan’s agriculture minister on Friday said that fish caught off the coast of Fukushima prefecture showed radiation levels above the country’s accepted limit.

“The Yumekasago type of fish caught for testing purposes had radiation levels above the allowed limit. Simple tests showed the amount of caesium was 112 becquerels per kilogram and detailed analysis showed 110 becquerels (per kilogram),” said minister of agriculture, forestry and fisheries, Yoshimasa Hayashi in a regular news conference.

Yumekasago is a type of rockfish found around the Far East, ranging from Japan to southern China.┬áJapan’s limit is 100 becquerels per kilogram.

The fishing cooperative in Iwaki city, Fukushima prefecture was surprised as they did not expect to find radiation in the fish, according to a representative from the Japanese media. The cooperative has suspended all shipments of the rockfish.

“We confirmed with the prefectural fisheries cooperative that they have not shipped the Helicolenus and that it will not circulate in the market,” Hayashi added.

The cooperative currently releases onto the market 33 types of fish gathered off the coast of Fukushima which have been cleared and deemed safe by a committee which wants to restart the shipping of fish from Fukushima.

The list is not cleared by the government on a national or prefectural level, according to the cooperative.

This is the first time any fish on that list has crossed the limit since shipment of Fukushima marine produce restarted two years ago, according to the cooperative.

The Yumekasago, who’s scientific name is Helicolenus hilgendorfii, did not show any signs of radiation last year when the cooperative scanned it and the next highest level detected was 72 becquerels per kilogram in 2012, according to the cooperative.

“We will continue to confirm the safety of the marine produce and support the activities of the testing centre,” Hayashi said.

The cooperative said they will remove the rockfish from its list of 33 types of fish it ships to market.

The list, which started from three types of fish in June 2012, has been growing ever since, with a few types being added every month.

The cooperative ships 32 types of fish, excluding the rockfish.

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