Researchers with Oregon State University and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration say they’ve detected minute amounts of radioactivity from the Fukushima reactor meltdown in albacore tuna caught along the West Coast. It's not considered a health threat at all.
Fisheries researchers in Oregon compared albacore tuna caught before last year's nuclear reactor meltdown in northeast Japan with fresh samples hooked off our coast afterwards, mainly this past summer. The team looked for what they call the nuclear "fingerprint" of the Fukushima reactor -- a combination of two isotopes of cesium.
OSU radiation health physicist Delvan Neville says preliminary tests show some of the recently caught tuna showed barely detectable levels of Fukushima radiation. He emphasizes the readings are far, far below any threshold of health concern.
"Tuna actually was the initial sushi that I tried and loved," Neville says. "It's been one of my favorites for a long time. And I still eat albacore now."
Ultimately, the aspect of this study that may prove most important is evidence that some of the Pacific tuna fished locally migrate all the way across the ocean.
Copyright 2012 Northwest News Network
On the Web:
Oregon Albacore Commission: