Some Bluefin Tuna Has Radioactive Isotopes.
Recently Bluefin tuna has been caught off the US coast and contains radiation from Japan's Fukshima nuclear plant after the earthquake in March of 2011, according to researchers. The Bluefin tuna were caught off the San Diego Coast in August of 2011 and were involved in a study published by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, otherwise known as PNAS. Fortunately, the radioactivity was deemed modestly elevated and researchers state that the radiation does not pose a health risk to the public. The levels are still lower than Japan's limit on safe eating and still lower than isotopes that exist naturally in fish.
Bluefin Tuna Study
- The study, which came out of Stanford University, found slightly elevated levels of radioactive cesium-137 and cesum-134 in 15 tuna that were caught in the same area before the Fukushima nuclear leak. The radiation levels were compared to the Bluefin and Yellowfin tuna before and after the earthquake. Both types of tuna live in the eastern Pacific ocean.
- The value of the study is in that it shows that the fish actually brought the radiation from the Fukushima nuclear disaster across the ocean during their yearly migration. and the bluefin migration shows just how rapidly the radioactive material can be transported to ecoregions distanced far away.
- Researchers were quick to reiterate that the radioactive evidence does not endanger safe eating of tuna for the public, and is at lower levels that even the naturally occurring isotope, potassium-40, that is found in all fish.
- On March 11 of 2011 a 9.0 magnitude earthquake hit Japan, causing meltdowns in some of the Fukushima plant's reactors. Thousands of people were killed from the devastation of the earthquake and tsunami. Radiation was disseminated into the sea, air, and soil around the nuclear plant and thousands of people that lived close by had to leave their homes.
While this radiation in tuna study is interesting, it is also a bit scary, but good to know, so our food is kept safe and monitored at an optimum level for our health. Studies show eating fish is good for the memory, prevents depression and staves off heart disease, to name just a few benefits. Don't let this study scare you, but be sure to keep in the loop about eating healthy tuna. We will do our best to inform you as well.