Scientists: “Absolutely every one” of bluefin tunas tested from S. California was contaminated with Fukushima radiation — “We were definitely surprised to see it at all – and even more surprised to see it in every one we measured”

Published: May 28th, 2012 at 8:11 pm ET


Subscription Only: Tuna Carried Fukushima Radioactivity to U.S. Coast
Wall Street Journal
May 28, 2012, 6:36 p.m. ET

Pacific bluefin tuna migrating last year from coastal Japan to the waters off Southern California contained radioactive cesium isotopes from the Fukushima nuclear disaster, scientists reported Monday.


“The tuna packaged it up and brought it across the world’s largest ocean,” said marine ecologist Daniel Madigan at Stanford University, who led the study team. “We were definitely surprised to see it at all and even more surprised to see it in every one we measured.”


“We found that absolutely every one of them had comparable concentrations of cesium-134 and cesium-137,” said marine biologist Nicholas Fisher at Stony Brook University in New York state, who was part of the study group.


Published: May 28th, 2012 at 8:11 pm ET


Related Posts

  1. Nuclear Expert: ‘It is not advisable to eat bluefin tuna’ — Fukushima radiation deposited over 600,000 sq. miles of Pacific — Cesium crosses placental barrier of animals June 1, 2012
  2. 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 May 31, 2012
  3. California TV: Seafood industry CEO advises “stay away from bluefin tuna” — Worry that radiation could get worse before it gets better May 30, 2012
  4. BBC: Public health hazard from fish arriving in California waters? May be considerably more contaminated than radioactive tunas (VIDEO) May 29, 2012
  5. *4-hour Fukushima Special* Gundersen: This basically means that every bluefin tuna in Pacific now contaminated with Fukushima cesium (AUDIO) June 10, 2012

41 comments to Scientists: “Absolutely every one” of bluefin tunas tested from S. California was contaminated with Fukushima radiation — “We were definitely surprised to see it at all – and even more surprised to see it in every one we measured”

  • CaptD CaptD

    Radioactive Hook Up…

    This is what we have been saying all along; Japan's radioactive pollution is spreading Globally…

    Fisherman will now have to add Geiger counters to their tackle boxes!

    What a Nuclear Waste!

    • Geiger counters, jet streams, debris and other radiation monitoring links

    • @CaptD and chemfood: Yes, indeed.
      Right from long ago!
      See the wasted efforts at wmd at
      And see darin the Youtube monumental effort the docudrama of nuke waste waste dumping multiplier effect throughout nuke histopathology:
      See the following more than one and a half hour long film on how nuclear wastes are being handled:

      This film makes it clear why the fish die off is being observed the world over since begin of the nuke madness.
      Convert this knowledge to facts and feel an ardent desire to appreciate the value of shutting down nukes and associated mad enterprises of modern civilization and act to mitigate the consequences, now. Please now. Leaders who say nukes are valuable must realise the criminal actions of the groups and absolute lack of civic sense. Even after being told of the grossly futile nature of the programmes of nuclear energy: Five times the energy produced during their lifetimes will be consumed by the nuke power programmes. Dont you see the madness? What other psychiatricks must be unleashed by nature on the numbskulls?

      • richard richard

        @ramaK, thanks for the info and the video. i just wished the people making these videos could learn to create a condensed infomation blip video. 90 minutes is too long to sit in front of youtube. 90 seconds, that i can deal with. (end of rant ๐Ÿ™‚ )

  • Spectrometising

    Interesting CaptD
    Perhaps going down to the pier with the family to dangle radiation detectors in the ocean, or gathering around to eagerly anticipate the result from a gamma spectrometer or a geiger counter will replace fishing as the way families spend quality time together by the ocean.

  • Spectrometising

    Hmm as i was saying here on numerous occasions add nauseum: It is Cs134 that is the signature nightmare isotope and not Cs137.
    cs134 !!!!! 16 times more radioactive than its sister Cs137

    From the article:
    ""We found that absolutely every one of them had comparable concentrations of cesium-134 and cesium-137," said marine biologist Nicholas Fisher at Stony Brook University in New York state, who was part of the study group. "It is crystal-clear data."

    • Spectrometising

      Sorry typo….Cs134 is *15 times more radioactive.,
      Half life of Cs134 is 2 years
      half life of Cs137 is 30 years
      30 divided by 2 years is 15.
      So Cs134 is 15 times more radiactive

      • Dogleg Dogleg

        Whew! You had me worried for a minute there.

        • Spectrometising

          snowy: Consider this…..if it were so, then the Cs137 would not decay and thus not be radioactive until 820 year later.

          Half life determines is the rate of decay.

          When it decays, radiation is emitted and at no other time.

          If the half life increases, rate of decay decreases =>

          And therefore…..the substance is less radioactive.

          I suspect this is baloney research.

      • S.W.P. S.W.P.

        Someone correct me if I'm wrong.If the half life of Cs134 is 2 years and the half life of Cs137 is 30 years as you wrote is wrong. Cs 137 is more radioactive/dangerous because it takes 30 years to degrade 50% where as Cs134 takes only 2 years to degrade 50%. You have it the other way around that Cs 134 is more dangerous.

        • Bobby1

          Cs-137 is more dangerous in the environment in the long run, due to its longer half-life.

          But if you were given a choice to eat a fish with X becquerels of cs-134, vs. another fish with X becquerels of cs-137, the one with cs-134 would be more harmful.

          • Bobby1

            ehhh… maybe I used the wrong unit. It should be mass… X milligrams instead of becquerels.

  • TheWorldIsBlind

    has reactor 4 crumbled on the edge? it looks different tonight..

    • Spectrometising

      TheWorldIsBlind ..Of course i do not mind having my Carbon and eating it too , because it gives flavour to my vege sausages, but like yourself ho hum, i will pass on the fish now with added Cs134 and Cs137 seasoning.

      • TheWorldIsBlind

        uh right on bro. but seriously R4 looks like its leaning extra hard tonight.

        • Spectrometising

          TheWorldIsBlind, probably they are leaning it to distract people from the new and improved nuclear powered Tuna "now with added Cs134 and Cs137!!"

  • Cindy

    Notice they don't say, how many becquerels of cesuim are in the meat !! just that it is there and below levels of concern..

    Fuck them !!

  • TomSmall

    This is wonderful news.

    Now these beautiful creatures can be saved from extinction.

    In case you didn't know, that's where there were headed. Because people eat them. The Japanese were indifferent to this eventuality.

    As sick as radiation might make them, at least now they'll have a chance.

    • richard richard

      nice logic tom.. i think ๐Ÿ˜‰

      could also apply to humans.. as sick as we may get from radiation, at least we may have a chance of stopping nuke power plants.

    • BreadAndButter BreadAndButter

      My sentiment exactly. People still eating / buying tuna is disgusting.

      • richard richard

        hi b&b – i know both you and i are long term vegos, so at least we have a head start on not eating the animals.

        for myself, i try not to have a dig a people eating those things, but i do agree with your sentiment. you know that. how could true vegos think otherwise ๐Ÿ™‚

        (i also know i'm not one who can preach, but i am working on keeping my anger in check. anyway, all i'm saying is i try not to agitate the carnivours too much ๐Ÿ™‚ )

        • BreadAndButter BreadAndButter

          you're right richard. it's just….you know.
          hard to watch sometimes.

          • richard richard

            hi b&b. i've been thinking how i behaved all 'thought police' like. i shouldn't be telling you what to say except for the normal rules and i'm sorry about that.

            i know i've not always been polite about harm to animals. so excuse me for getting in your way.

  • glowfus

    i'll have a tuna melt. could this consumer info be any less timely? last year? all of em, every single one, hot tuna? thanks alot. what about right now. what is in the sea environment right now.

  • What-About-The-Kids

    So sad to read this. This is only one species in the Pacific. We can only imagine how many others are being effected by this ONGOING tragedy as we speak. FUKU continued to leak radioactive water directly into the Pacific. Japan is dumping radioactive ashes into Tokyo Bay. Rivers and streams filled with radiation are continuing to transport the radiation from the mountains in Japan into the ocean. And on and on and on. ๐Ÿ™

  • What-About-The-Kids

    I read up a bit on Bluefin tuna here:

    "Schools of bluefin seasonally migrate northward during the summer months along the coast of Japan and and the Pacific coast of North America."

    If they migrate north during summer months, why were they found in August in Southern California?

    "Tagged adult fish have made trans-Pacific migrations: some eastward, and some westward. Other tagging studies have shown that a bluefin can cross the Atlantic in less than 60 days. They can swim at speeds up to 45 mph (72.5 kph)."

    These could be the trans-Pacific migrators…and at such speeds, it appears they could easily cross the Pacific by August…

    Or…could they be Mexican Bluefin who migrated NORTH last summer to Southern California and ate the irradiated kelp and Buckyballs floating on the surface of the ocean? Scientists discovered last year a thin microfilm floating on the surface of the ocean containing bacteria and other organisms that are affected Orcas in the Puget Sound. This microfilm could also contain "buckeyballs," the newly-discovered uranium-tainted molecular structure which is robust and easily transported long distances.

    • What-About-The-Kids

      (Continued from above):

      "Research: New Airborne Threat To Killer Whales"


      "Killer whales โ€” from Puget Sound's endangered southern residents to the transient whales living hundreds of miles offshore โ€” are inhaling bacteria, fungi and viruses once believed to be found only on land. Some of the pathogens are highly virulent. And some are even antibiotic-resistant.

      "…But in the last decade a largely unheralded potential pollution source has started garnering new attention โ€” the super-thin film that floats atop marine waters, called the sea-surface microlayer. This millimeter-thick sheen on the surface has long been known to carry fungi and bacteria, and those pathogens can easily become airborne."


      Since Bluefin also skim the water for nutrients as well as eat sardines, etc., this could also be how they ingested radiation.

      "Their eggs are buoyant, and are distributed a considerable distance by the surface currents."

      I too am concerned about this year's fish populations, as the highly vulnerable egg larvae would have been floating on the surface of the ocean when the initial fallout rained down, and the newly hatched fish could then possibly have been exposed to whatever radioactive water TEPCO's leaking sieves (a.k.a. damaged reactor buildings and spent fuel pools) have released directly into the ocean, and buckyballs, etc.

  • Ganxet Ganxet

    In my fish shop, every thursday, they give away free crab balls.
    Could you guess, where was it fished…?

    In FAO 61 fishing zone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    FAO 61 = northwest pacific!

    OMG! Free caesium for everybody…!!

    I live in Barcelona "CATALUNYA" EU.

    • BreadAndButter BreadAndButter

      Hola Ganxet,
      isn't it absolutely crazy how fish is shipped around the world? It's insane that we in the EU import fish from the Pacific – as if stealing the fish from African waters by the huge European fish trawlers wasn't enough. ๐Ÿ™
      Did you know that Mitsubishi is the world's largest tuna fishing company in the Mediterranean sea?
      Scientist say bluefin tuna in the Mediterranean Sea will be extinct in 2-5 years.
      Well done.

  • mungo mungo

    i am glad this news is going out on mainstream, even the BBC mention it….

  • Ganxet Ganxet

    in October there will be a show called "SEAFOOD". Of the more than 300 participating companies … How many do you think that talk about the issue of nuclear pollution of the ocean?
    Spain is the second country with more fish contaminated by mercury from the EU

    " ".

    Greenpeace is going to do?

  • SteveMT

    "Startled," really!

    "We were frankly kind of startled," said Nicholas Fisher, one of the researchers reporting the findings online Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

  • tonybica

    To those who are smugly patting themselves on the back for being vegan: I do believe you have forgotten about a little thing called RAIN, which falls upon the vegetables you eat and contaminates them with radiation. We're all in the same boat, so you can stop feeling superior now.

  • sonnen.blum.239 sonnen.blum.239

    At times I think we humans are entirely screwed out of the food chain, but hey, even in Cherny there are folks who eat the local produce and survive: but not well. There is very little in the market that is clearly labelled with source or origin. Rice, tea, fish, meat, eventually everything may be contaminated to the point it is silly to distinguish "clean" from "contaminated." And internal contamination for anything living is worse than exposure which also is happening to all of us. I can be saddened, nearly depressed. my dreams of nuclear holocaust did not seem so low-key; I was expecting a blast and then nuclear winter. But this? a slow contamination of everything around us, the air we breathe, and the food we eat. Now that, I did not expect. Welcome to the 21st century. We MUST stop all nuclear proliferation: weapons for sure, but even waste products from health care are not at all safe. Power plants are ticking time bombs waiting for cooling system failure. All radiological measures to save even the lives of cancer patients are doomed to fail…what do they eventually die of…a returned cancer in another part of the body. We must stop the madness. Demand that governments worldwide address the issue, depersonalize the corporation, dismantle the oligarchy, occupy everything and everywhere.

  • nukedincali nukedincali

    Demand that governments worldwide address the issue, depersonalize the corporation, dismantle the oligarchy, occupy everything and everywhere.
    love sonnen blum 239 words

  • Writer4

    The new Chornobyl shadow is spreading it's wings or what? Don't panic, there's a lot of fish and the main reason to care about it's quantity is oil pollution.
    _______________________________ – plagiarism checker tool.