Seabed radioactive substances found not transferred to fish via feed

A team from the Japan Fisheries Research & Education Agency's National Research Institute of Fisheries Science has found radioactive substances deposited on the seabed stemming through the 2011 nuclear accident are barely being transferred to fish via the food chain. The team has concluded that it sees an "extremely low possibility" of radioactive concentrations in excess of the Food Sanitation Act standard of 100 becquerels per kilogram being detected from fish spawned in the future in waters off Fukushima Prefecture. The findings, based on experiments conducted by the team, were reported by the institute during a meeting of the chiefs of member cooperatives of the Fukushima Prefectural Federation of Fisheries Cooperative Associations held in Iwaki city on July 27. The study was commissioned by the Fisheries Agency of the Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Ministry. It was conducted in an artificial environment simulating that off Fukushima Prefecture by using a water tank bedded with soil collected from three seabed locations -- near Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s Fukushima Daiichi plant where the accident occurred, off Hirono town close to the plant, and off the Yotsukura district of Iwaki south of the plant. Seawater from an area off the Onahama district of the same city was allowed to flow into the tank continuously. Greenling and marbled sole were kept in the tank, feeding on lugworms and shore crabs grown under the same condition. Radioactive cesium content was measured for 70 days on the seabed soil, fish and feed used in the experiment. Soil radiocesium content ranged from about 140 to 220 becquerels per kilogram while more than 8 becquerels were found in some feed samples. But radiocesium concentrations in both types of fish were 2 becquerels or less throughout the experimental period, showing no major change, according to the study. (Translated by Kyodo News)