L.A. Times: NOAA to start testing wildlife for Fukushima contamination

Published: February 26th, 2013 at 3:39 am ET
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Title: Radioactive tuna from Fukushima? Scientists eat it up
Source: Los Angeles Times
Author:  Eryn Brown
Date: February 25, 2013

Radioactive tuna from Fukushima? Scientists eat it up

[...] In coming months, the three researchers and colleagues at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and other institutions plan to analyze hundreds more bluefin tuna, as well as albacore tuna; mahi mahi; ocean sunfish; opa; mako, blue and salmon sharks; loggerhead turtles; and sooty shearwaters, a type of migratory seabird.

They’ll examine samples collected in New Zealand, Hawaii and Alaska as well as in California. They might look through archived specimens for salmon and whales to test. Other research groups may track the contamination to study marine animals too, [Dan Madigan of Stanford University] said.

If scientists find Fukushima radiation in swordfish, for example, it will be the first evidence that the species migrates across the entire Pacific. [...]

“Amazing”

  • They concluded that their tracking method worked, and that Fukushima provided “an unprecedented opportunity” for scientists to use radioactive tracers to follow animal movement. “This was just nature being amazing,” [Nicholas Fisher of Stony Brook University] said.
  • He imagines pulling together a map of the Pacific crisscrossed by the paths of radiation-toting animals — “an amazing image of transport … all from a little dot” in Japan, Madigan said.

See also: HuffPost: "Radioactive Fish Found In California" -- Is it a good thing?

Published: February 26th, 2013 at 3:39 am ET
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