Oh Noes!!! Radioactive Tuna!!!




Boy…… can we get overhyped anymore?

“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.

The levels of radioactive cesium were 10 times higher than the amount measured in tuna off the California coast in previous years.

But scientists did not expect the nuclear fallout to linger in huge fish that sail the world because such fish can metabolize and shed radioactive substances.

To their surprise, tissue samples from all 15 tuna captured contained levels of two radioactive substances – ceisum-134 and cesium-137 – that were higher than in previous catches.

The results “are unequivocal. Fukushima was the source,” said Ken Buesseler of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, who had no role in the research.

“That’s a big ocean. To swim across it and still retain these radionuclides is pretty amazing,” Fisher said.

So said both HuffPo and Fox….. Then there’s ERL…….

“Our work suggests that Pacific bluefin tuna were exposed to enough radioactivity off Japan to measure it months later in California,” Dan Madigan of Stanford University told environmentalresearchweb. “This means that bluefin and other migratory animals may carry this signal if they have come from Japan in recent months. This suggests the use of these radioactive isotopes as tracers of movement in the Pacific Ocean on a large scale.”

Madigan and colleagues from Stony Brook University, US, found 134Caesium and 137Caesium in 15 two-year-old Pacific bluefin tuna (Thunnus orientalis) caught near San Diego in August 2011. The fish spawns in the western Pacific; some juveniles stay in Japanese waters while others swim east to the California Current Large Marine Ecosystem, generally when they are around a year old. That means all two-year-old Pacific bluefin caught during summer in the Eastern Pacific must have migrated recently.

“After the Fukushima accident, there was a lot of attention to the possibility that fish may accumulate and transport radioactive material,” said Madigan. “Since Pacific bluefin are known to migrate across the Pacific, we chose to test them for two elements of radioactive caesium.”

You can read the rest here….. http://environmentalresearchweb.org/cws/article/news/49804

Notice how the quoted Fisher isn’t even mentioned in the ERL article?  Surprised?

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8 Responses to Oh Noes!!! Radioactive Tuna!!!

  1. Latitude says:

    You know, they never qualify this crap…
    “that were higher than in previous catches”

    Higher than what? went from .0001 to .0003, big whoppie

    • suyts says:

      What I thought what was funny was that the apparent attention whore, Nicholas Fisher, mentioned in the news stories wasn’t quoted in the ERL article.

      The ERL article shows that this wasn’t a surprise at all. The science team wasn’t worried about the radiation levels other than they wanted them to be high enough to track the fish for a while.

      I’ve a funny one coming up…..

  2. Bruce of Newcastle says:

    When the Fukushima meltdowns occurred there were live maps of 137Cs distribution. Enjoy.

    The amounts are so low that a visit to a modest scenic lookout would almost certainly give you more radiation. The caesium may even be beneficial as the hormensis model is a better fit to the data than the no threshold linear model.

    • suyts says:

      Yeh, but the tuna!!!! Think of the kids!!!

      I saw the news stories and wanted to puke, but today I found the actual science group doing this and thought it would be fun to point out the alarmism.

  3. DirkH says:

    Expect Germans to go all shell-shocked in 3 days and maybe block all tuna imports.
    (Well you can get your omega 3 from flax oil…)

  4. Mark says:

    “Daniel J. Madigan, from Stanford University (California, USA), and colleagues did not expect the nuclear fallout to linger in huge fish that sail the world because such fish can metabolize and shed radioactive substances.” Really? “…metabolize and shed”? Cesium isotopes act like POTASSIUM in the body, right? Potassium is an INTRAcellular ion, right? What “science” tells lius that potassium levels are turned over at X rate?
    It also begs the question, “Which isotope?”. Certainly not all isotopes since Strontium-90 is treated like Calcium in the body and is deposited in bone/cartilage and other structures and, pretty much, has a long residence in those structures. Lastly, there is an assumption made that the contaminated waters are isolated near the site of the dumping (Fukushima). Anyone heard of ocean currents? Rivers, really, of ocean water that stay, pretty much, undiluted as they traverse the oceans? If radioactivity enters these currents at X concentration, couldn’t it, wouldn’t it stay pretty much [X-a little] concentration when it reaches across the Pacific?

    • suyts says:

      Mark, welcome. Yes, you bring up some valid questions. And that’s part of the problem, there are people out there which see something just a little different than what they expect and then hyperventilate instead of delving further. They wrap hyperbole around some observation and call it science.

      I would expect some significant dilution by the time it comes across the pacific, but, I’m not very knowledgeable about the churn for those currents, so you could be right.

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