Fish caught in waters near the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant have been detected 124 times highly radioactive than the accepted limit, a report by the Asahi Shimbun said.
The Fisheries Research Agency, a Japanese government-affiliated research institute, revealed over the weekend that a fish called black sea bream caught at the mouth of the Niidagawa river in Iwaki, Fukushima Prefecture contained 12,400 becquerels per kilogram of radioactive cesium. It was way 124 times over the safety standards for foodstuffs.
The fish was caught Nov 17 at 37 kilometres south of the power plant. Close to 40 pieces of black sea bream were caught at that time. This particular type of fish is no longer sold at fish markets in the radiation affected region.
Two other fishes contained radiation levels, 426 becquerels per kilogram and 197 becquerels per kilogram.
Authorities from the Fisheries Research Agency said it will undertake further studies to establish when exactly were the fishes got stained by the high levels of radioactive cesium.
Read: Japan to Perform Controlled Nuclear Meltdown, Wants to Study Causes and Prevention Techniques
Professor Chris Busby, Scientific Secretary of the European Committee on Radiation Risk and a member of the UK Department of Health Committee Examining Radiation Risk for Internal Emitters (CERRIE), told the Voice of Russia that while contaminated water goes back and forth into the Pacific Ocean, most of the risk as far as fish dependency is concerned remains confined to Japan.
“The concentrations of radionuclides, which are going to the Pacific or have been injected to the Pacific, by the time they get to the US, and to China and to South East Korea and so on will not be enormously high. I’m not saying that it is great, I mean there will be some risk to these people, and particularly the risk is from ingestion of radionuclide particles and not so much from the dilute stuff, the stuff that is in solution. But the main risk will be to the people of Japan, and it’ll be people who live along the coastline of Eastern Japan who will be greatly at risk,” he said.
Mr Busby said mortality statistics will greatly change in Northern Japan, noting there might arise 400-800 extra cancers in Japan in the next fifty years.
“We’ve already seen some effects in infant mortality and thyroid cancer in Japan. So I think this is just going to get worse. I think we are going to see a major effect on the general health of the Japanese population in Northern Japan. There’s going to be a decrease in the birth rate and an increase in the death rate,” he said.