For the first time in two years irradiated fish have been caught in the waters of Fukushima Prefecture in Japan, NHK TV-channel reported on Monday, citing a local fishing association.
According to the broadcaster, laboratory tests of sea bass showed that the content of radioactive cesium was five times above permitted levels. Consequently, local fishermen have temporarily suspended fishing for this species in local waters.
Earlier, the NPP operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co., reported that levels of cooling waters had fallen in two reactors, indicating further damage to reactors in the first and third blocks caused by the recent powerful earthquake. Shortly after the natural disaster, a small amount of water, contaminated with radiation, was reportedly released from Fukushima NPP’s containers.
On 14 February, Japan suffered a powerful earthquake measuring 7.3 on the Richter scale, with the Fukushima Prefecture one of the most affected by the tremors.
The fishing industry in the Fukushima Prefecture suffered after the 2011 nuclear disaster, as local fisheries had been banned till 2017. Last year, outrage sparked among fishery cooperatives after the government announced its intention to approve a release into the ocean of highly-radioactive water that had been cooling Fukushima’s damaged reactors, as the facility is out of space to store the ever-increasing amount of radiated waste. While the procedure is claimed by authorities to be safe for human health, Fukushima fishermen are afraid that consumers will lose trust in local marine products.