Forbes: Radiation in California bluefin tuna may be a blessing — Lead Scientist: My first thought was this will do more for conservation of this animal than nearly anything else could

Published: May 31st, 2012 at 8:06 am ET


Could The Fukushima Radiation Found In Bluefin Tuna Actually Help Save The Imperiled Species?
Monte Burke
May 31, 2012


It sounds counterintuitive, but the radiation in the tuna may turn out to be a blessing in disguise for the species.

Bluefin tuna, found in the Atlantic and northern and southern Pacific, are among the most imperiled fish species on the planet.


If the governments can’t help, maybe bad publicity will. Nicholas Fisher, the study’s co-author and a marine biologist at Stony Brook University in New York, says when he first saw the levels of radiation in the fish, caught off of San Diego, “my first thought was ‘this will do more for the conservation of this endangered animal than nearly anything else could.’”

[…] “

But people are often anxious about radioactivity,” says Fisher.

And this may be what ultimately benefits the Bluefin.


the public perception of the fish may be contaminated for good. And that may keep it out of restaurants.


Published: May 31st, 2012 at 8:06 am ET


Related Posts

  1. California TV: Seafood industry CEO advises “stay away from bluefin tuna” — Worry that radiation could get worse before it gets better May 30, 2012
  2. CNN: All 15 bluefin tuna samples off California had Fukushima radiation… back in AUGUST 2011 — “This year’s fish are going to be really interesting” says Stanford scientist May 28, 2012
  3. Head Researcher: California bluefin tuna with Fukushima cesium in waters near Japan for under a month? What will they look like after spending entire life there? (AUDIO) July 16, 2012
  4. Professor: California bluefin tuna may have been contaminated by radioactive substances from Fukushima that traveled across Pacific, rather than contamination off coast of Japan — We don’t know exactly what is happening (VIDEO) October 10, 2013
  5. *Listen to Fukushima Special* 1st Hour Guest Arnie Gundersen: When someone steps forward and publishes, we’re going to see higher radioactivity levels in California bluefin tuna (VIDEO) June 10, 2012

44 comments to Forbes: Radiation in California bluefin tuna may be a blessing — Lead Scientist: My first thought was this will do more for conservation of this animal than nearly anything else could

  • aigeezer aigeezer

    Bad is good. Up is down. War is peace. Deficits don't matter. Radiation will save the tuna. Let's poison everything to save it.

    Life gave Fisher a lemon and he made pink fizzy lemonade from it and sold it to Forbes.

    • robertsgt40

      Yeah, a litttle radiation is good for from the sun. As for plutonium and cesium I'm not convinced. Let's ask the survivors or Heroshima and Nagasaki how that's worked out.

    • AGreenRoad AGreenRoad

      Progress is being made… Maybe one or two more 'accidents' and even with a huge coverup and denial, I think everyone will done with this very messy, dirty, expensive and corrupt source of energy

      List Of Countries/Nations With NO Nuclear Power Plants; via A Green Road Blog

    • GOOD NEWS!!! Burning to death in a house fire makes you less likely to die in a car accident! Being broke is actually great because it makes you less likely to lose a million dollars! Nuclear waste contamination is great because it keeps rent low and makes finding a vacant house easier! Maybe even a whole vacant neighborhood for free! We are through the looking glass folks.

  • goathead goathead

    You don't know what you've got until it's taken away from you!! Fantastic beautiful blue planet but it's inhabitants are beginning to become quarantined in one way or another! Maybe a giant parking lot over the whole thing???

    • WildTurnip WildTurnip

      😉 Shades of Joni Mitchell's Big Yellow Taxi

      Don't it always seem to go
      That you don't know what you've got
      Till it's gone
      They paved paradise
      And put up a parking lot

      • HoTaters HoTaters

        WildTurnip, I was going to quote those exact words! That song went through my head the instant I read goathead's comment.

        Thank you Joni Mitchell:

        They took all the trees
        Put 'em in a tree museum *
        And they charged the people
        A dollar and a half just to see 'em

        Don't it always seem to go
        That you don't know what you've got
        Till it's gone
        They paved paradise
        And put up a parking lot

    • AGreenRoad AGreenRoad

      The tide is going out for nukes…

      Renewable Energy Usage And Costs Compared To Nuclear And Coal; via A Green Road Blog

  • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

    This is the craziest reasoning. Radiation will kill off the fish totally with no chance to recover ever.

    Radiation kills absolutely.

    No nukes, no way, not ever.

  • PhilipUpNorth philipupnorth

    Sadly, Fisher is right about the bluefin, plus all the other wild sea animals humans view as food. Humans tend to fish a species to extinction in the absence of sound government regulations. Funny that it was the Japanese who had the biggest factory fleets all over the Pacific decimating species after species. Also, isn't Fisher a funny name for a marine biologist?

  • May Fisher be blessed with radiation.

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    This is one of the sickest and stupidest statements ..I have ever heard.
    Sure it will save them (tuna)from consumption..but what about the effects of the radiation on the species?
    I'm trying to find an excuse for them not understanding the implications..
    They will need to remember …that when their children are exposed and reproduction is risky…it was the best thing for them.

    • Sharp2197 Sharp2197

      Agree, when his grandchild is born with it's kidneys in a bag on it's hip that will be a "blessing" because he will know the full implication of nuclear power.

  • I mean sure its species may develop a third eye in it's near future. But some people believe that is a sign of higher power. So we shall embrace this genetic mutation.

  • TheBowRiver TheBowRiver

    Pacific Bluefin Tuna (DNA Genocide).

    So, testing has been done on adult Pacific Bluefin tuna off the California coast. Please note that these are mature adults who have reached maturity before Fukushima March 2011.

    We know that they have made their spawning journey to Fukushima and back and have picked up enough internal radiation to be detected by the scientists in California.

    This particular sub-species spawn off the coast of Japan. They will live in these waters for 5 years and grow to maturity in a polluted swill of radioative oceanic waste. The radiation is suspended in the water column that they breathe, as well as in the food that they will eat.

    There has been much discussion at least here, thanks to ENENews and great contribution from Helen Caldicott, Arnie Gundersen, and others. The DNA induced decimation of to a species such as the Bluefin should be of paramount importance to all.

  • someone

    <cite>Bluefin tuna, found in the Atlantic and northern and southern Pacific, are among the most imperiled fish species on the planet.</cite>

    Bullshit. It's conservation status is LeastConcent (the lowest possible level). See:

  • milk and cheese milk and cheese

    Bullshit yourself, someone. The only reason bluefin are not on the endangered species list is because the USA has voted against putting it there.
    They are seriously overfished. 90 per cent of the big predators in the sea have been wiped out, and jellyfish are taking over.
    Hope you like calimari…

  • Ron

    Kind of backwards thinking on Fisher's part.

    It's very true that as a rule the Japanese, and other Asian people's, have a rather unenlightened view of nature, seeing the world a one giant dinner plate without any regard to endangered species whatsoever. It's very sad for whales that Japanese industrialists have so stubbornly insisted on hunting down endangered species like the fin and humpback whales right in a freaking whale sanctuary for crissakes (the Southern Ocean Whale Sancturary) giving them no place to rest and raise their young. It's sad that they are also behind the hunting of other endangered species like elephants for their tusks, bears, tigers and gorillas too.

    On the other hand I think that most Japanese are against these practices. I've seen polls that say that most Japanese people are against whaling. It's the comparative few black hearts the are doing it.

    Anyway, I don't think it's a good thing to be happy that a species is being genetically poisoned because that may save them from predators. The predator here, humans, has been replaced by one that is even more insidious and long lasting, radiation.

    And you can bet that the ultra conspiracy minded environment haters among us will take Fisher's words as proof that the whole thing is a farce to try to save these animals. Yes we need to get serious about conservation. It's sad that only worry about poisoning themselves will stop some people from obliterating a species.

    • HoTaters HoTaters

      No offense to Asians, I understand they come from areas with fierce population pressures, and limited resources. Some who have moved to the U.S. have set lines of hooks all along the coastline in Sonoma and Mendocino counties (California), among the rocks and in the shallow waters. Abalone fishermen have been severely injured. It has decimated the juvenile rockfish populations.

      • HoTaters HoTaters

        So what needs to change, to change people's mindsets? If it doesn't happen, there will be no change. We can make mandates and make laws. Unless there is a change in the hearts and minds of the people, nothing will change, in the long run.

    • Maggie123

      Ron, I'm not sure where you live – I'm in N.America, long time in Northern western Canada and presently in the US. I seriously doubt that American practices are less damaging to the oceans. Our contributions are perhaps via a different set of practices. And regardless of who's responsible for what, we N.Americans are doing a first rate job of destroying land-based systems. Our present "vision" seems to give us permission to risk "all" to extract oil from shale and fracking. We using extreme toxins to do both.

      We've got human communities near Alberta's tar sands development with extreme cancer rate. We also have fresh-water fish showing lesions, destruction of prime migratory song bird nesting habitat, continental migratory waterfowl landing on toxic "holding" (we hope!) ponds, and whatever displacement and health issues show up for moose, bear, … in the t.s. region. If t.s. holding ponds leak or worse (dike failure), a nasty chemical brew will join the waters of the magnificent Athabaska River, where, flowing north, these will eventually find their way to the MacKenzie R and the Arctic O. There, the toxins can mingle on site with energy pollutants of Mackenzie Delta activity.

      Earth/habitat destruction is global. Whatever encouragement we can offer one another to change from high-consumption lifestyles will help. (Not saying you're not aware; I hope to broaden the discussion's scope of responsibility to earth's life to include all of us.)

      • BreadAndButter BreadAndButter

        Great post, Maggie. Downsizing is absolutely the way to choose. Dramatic changes lie ahead of us or are already happening.
        We can adapt "by design or by disaster"…

  • TheBigPicture TheBigPicture

    Nothing will be right until we do away with atomic power. Oceans are messed up. Lands are messed up. The air is messed up.

    • Ron

      And fossil fuels for the same reasons.

      Clean alternatives are available if we but take them and stop falling for dirty energies lies.

      Leave dirty energy in the ground, get it from above.

      • BreadAndButter BreadAndButter


      • HoTaters HoTaters

        There have been alternatives to fossil fuel and nuclear power for over 30 years. The United States, as the leader of the world economy, could have taken steps to promote those technologies. For political reasons (probably the influence of political action committees and lobbyists, plus the direct influence of people like the Bush and Rockefeller families, heavily invested in oil) it wasn't done.

        Not only has the U.S. been a leader in promoting horrible nuclear energy/warfare technology, but we have directly influenced (quashed) the promotion and development of "alternative" energy technologies.

  • milk and cheese milk and cheese

    We had to destroy the fish to save them.

  • TheBowRiver TheBowRiver

    Pacific Bluefin Tuna (DNA Genocide).

    In my previous comment thanking ENENews for posting this on their site, I forgot to mention several outstanding resources for anyone wanting to know what is really happening with radioactive decimation of our planet. Since March 2011 there have been several of note.

    First, the great work of Dr. Chris Busby of the ECRR who initially captured my attention to Fukushima.

    Dr. Gordon Edwards of the Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility.

  • HoTaters HoTaters

    Good for the tuna? What about good for the humans? Well, good for the tuna, but it's interesting we humans somehow got left out of that line of reasoning ….

  • odylan

    I stopped eating Pacific tuna when I saw the mushroom cloud over Fuku Daiichi. For reasons to do with the unbelievable cruelty involved in producing the main ingredient for shark fin soup I've never knowingly eaten any Japanese food but that's another matter. It's my personal boycott.

  • Ron

    The hunting of endangered species by Asians is usually due to some imagined esoteric health benefit from eating these animals. It's kind of similar to the notions of gladiators in the old Roman colosseum that if they drank the blood of those they defeated they would gain their strength.

    The other reason is that they imagine that these parts are somehow aphrodisiatic. A more selfish reason to run species to extinction is hard to imagine. At least Viagra is not going to decimate the world of wildlife.

  • StPaulScout StPaulScout

    Personaly I hope they continue to fish Tuna and other species. They are basically doomed now anyhow. Let the suckers in Japan and wherever gorge on them. With any luck they will show signs of radiation poisoning and then the cat will REALLY be out of the bag. Imagine if thousands or millions start getting sick from radiation poisoning. Deny THAT PTB ass holes. I have zero empathy or sympathy for human suffering caused by our own stupidity. Children, babies, inocents, tuff shit people. We should have thought about that along time ago.

      • StPaulScout StPaulScout

        So Tats, you disagree or agree? Are we not the creators of our own doom? We are supposed to be smart but yet we do the absolutely stupidest shit to ourselves of any species this planet has ever known. Could you imagine what a paradise this place would be without man killing it off…..

  • Ron

    You're right of course Maggie. All races are responsible for environmental destruction. I'm just particularly galled by those who specifically target endangered and threatened species. Course here in the US we have a group calling themselves Safari Club International that has canned hunts with these animals. That is just as despicable (though not as pervasive I don't think).

    But again, that's not to say that all Asian people hold these feelings toward the earth and other species. Greenpeace has branches in Japan and other places in Asia. Dr David Suzuki is a Japanese environmentalist of stature.

  • TerraHertz TerraHertz

    Apparently Mr 'marine biologist' Fisher knows nothing of long term genetic effects on species of raised radiation levels. So, we may not fish them nearly to extinction, but instead the species goes extinct due to reproductive failure. Terrific.

    Actually, I'm leaning more and more to the 'Let the idiots eat radioactive fishcake' view. To those who believe the lies that radiation is great for your health, and are unwilling to do some basic research – go right ahead then, eat it up. It's clearly time for a little more 'survival of the smartest' evolutionary pressure.

    Of course, this only works while there are limited and identifiable sources of contaminated food, and it's still possible for those who care to find clean food.

    Unfortunately as Fukushima continues and likely gets worse, clean food will become rarer globally. But still, there's a certain amount of pleasure in the thought of the gullible, ignorant, mentally lazy lie-swallowers eating their radioactive rice and fish. Especially if they hold a forced smile as they eat, believing that makes them immune to alpha particles ripping DNA apart in their cells.

    Maybe you can call me vindictive. But these fools are killing my planet. Yes, I hate them.

  • Karlin

    BEWARE THE LOW DOSE!!! I could not have found a more opportune article to post this in that this one. You guys allready know this, but it is news to me – THE PETKAU EFFECT shows that low dose of radiation is WORSE than high dose, and not over much more time either:

    Petkau Effect >

    "Petkau found that 3500 rads delivered in 2¼ hours (26 rad/min = 15.5 Sv/h) would rupture a certain cell membrane, and that 0.7 rads delivered in 11½ hours (1 millirad/min = 0.61 mSv/h) also ruptured the membrane."

    Holy PET COW Batman!!
    – low dose is worse than high dose due to a recombination of ions in higher doses, whereas lighter dose ions work individually, causing a greater effect.

    Like Carl Sagan said "its good to keep an open mind, just not to the point your brains fall out.

  • Longjohn119

    He is correct like it or not predation by man is a far greater extinction risk than this radiation as terrible is it is and will be on the species

    Just ask an American Buffalo … Damned near wiped out by man but actually increased in numbers after WWII despite being downwind from a lot of nuclear testing in the 40's and 50's

    I think it's beyond silly for anyone to suggest he was saying radiation is good for man or animals and fish … He was just pointing out what should be OBVIOUS to everyone with eyes and ears and a little education in history ….