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Still Low Levels Of Radioactivity In Japanese Bluefin

Bluefin tuna caught off the coast of California have again tested positive for low levels of radioactive material, nearly two years after Japan’s Fukushima nuclear disaster, according to a new US study. The levels of radiation in the fish are safe for consumption and do not pose a health risk.
The research, by Stanford University scientist Daniel Madigan, shows that bluefin tuna migrating from the coastal waters of Japan are still showing signs of contamination after the March 2011 nuclear reactor meltdowns. The study indicates that even relatively young fish are testing positive for radiation, most likely because they spent the majority of their lives in radioactive ocean waters near Japan.
The radiation is still present in the ocean partly because the Fukushima plant is still leaking the cesium and because the affected fish are excreting the contaminants as they swim, which continuously adds to the levels in the water.
Last spring, researchers at Stony Brook University in New York also reported finding safe, but elevated radioactivity levels in Japanese bluefin tuna caught off the US West coast. The news was surprising because the scientists did not expect the nuclear radiation to linger in the large migratory fish, which swim 6,000 miles and are known to metabolize and shed radioactive substances. 

This past October, minute traces of radiation from the Fukushima reactor incident were also found in samples of albacore tuna caught off the US West coast. Food safety concerns were again not an issue because the research concluded that to increase the normal annual dosage of radiation by just 1% – people are exposed to radiation from the natural environment – a person would have to eat more than 4,000 pounds of the albacore with the highest radiation level found in the study.

There are no concerns of radiation poisoning in skipjack or yellowfin tuna sourced from the Western and Central Pacific Ocean.