HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Topics » Environment & Energy » Environment & Energy (Group) » Fukushima Radiation May A...

Fri Jun 1, 2012, 12:53 AM

Fukushima Radiation May Actually Save Bluefin Tuna

** You see nuclear meltdowns AREN'T SO BAD!

http://www.forbes.com/sites/monteburke/2012/05/31/could-the-fukushima-radiation-found-in-bluefin-tuna-actually-help-save-the-imperiled-species/

It sounds counterintuitive, but the radiation in the tuna may turn out to be a blessing in disguise for the species.

Bluefin tuna, found in the Atlantic and northern and southern Pacific, are among the most imperiled fish species on the planet. Though the U.S. government recently—and somewhat controversially—refused to list Atlantic Bluefin as an official “endangered species,” they did categorize the fish as a “species of concern.” The Atlantic Bluefin population has dwindled by as much as 80% since the 1970s, mainly because of overfishing. (Southern Pacific Bluefin are also in peril.) All species Bluefin are among the most prized table fish on the globe, especially among sushi aficionados who pay up to $24 for one single piece of the fish. Last year, the U.S. government did petition CITES to protect the Atlantic Bluefin. But the effort was blocked by Japan, where much of the world’s Bluefin end up at market.

If the governments can’t help, maybe bad publicity will. Nicholas Fisher, the study’s co-author and a marine biologist at Stony Brook University in New York, says when he first saw the levels of radiation in the fish, caught off of San Diego, “my first thought was ‘this will do more for the conservation of this endangered animal than nearly anything else could.’”

Fisher and the study’s lead author, Daniel Madigan of Stanford University’s Hopkins Marine Station, were both quick to point out that the levels of radiation found in the tuna shouldn’t be a problem for humans. There are natural levels of radioactivity in the tuna, and Fukushima has only added the slightest amount more. (The report can be found here.) “But people are often anxious about radioactivity,” says Fisher.

8 replies, 1350 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread

Response to flamingdem (Original post)

Fri Jun 1, 2012, 01:25 AM

1. Everyone knows, radiation gives you superpowers

I, for one, welcome our new tuna overlords.

No, I didn't mean THAT!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to flamingdem (Original post)

Fri Jun 1, 2012, 12:36 PM

2. Excellent. Bluefin tuna have been fished close to extinction in most areas

This reminds me of programs in Africa to intentionally poison rhino horns to discourage poaching: http://www.google.com/search?q=poisoned+rhino+horns&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-USfficial&client=firefox-a

As an added plus, most bluefin tuna is eaten by rich A-holes with way too much money, so it's a win all around

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to NickB79 (Reply #2)

Fri Jun 1, 2012, 12:40 PM

3. Exactly, the only problem is that rich a-holes

think they are supermen so they poo-poo the concept of cancer causing low level radiation.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to flamingdem (Original post)

Fri Jun 1, 2012, 02:07 PM

4. Hmmmm..

Assuming most people choose to avoid the tuna because of "anxiety" over radioactivity,
how does increasing the amount of radiation in the ocean
( the nuke plants are STILL leaking water into the ocean)
help save the species in the long run?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to dixiegrrrrl (Reply #4)

Fri Jun 1, 2012, 08:16 PM

5. Humans fear radiation because it causes us to die badly

not because it damages our ability to reproduce. There may be more mutatons among wild animals, but they are selected out. If whales were radioactive, would the Japanese still regard their flesh as a delicacy? Oysters don't die off because of dioxin, but it makes us sick so we stop eating them. That's a net win for the oyster.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to pscot (Reply #5)

Fri Jun 1, 2012, 08:20 PM

7. Good point. The long-term effects of radiation are mainly cancers

But cancers usually take years to develop, and most animals in the wild don't live long enough naturally for any significant tumors to form and affect their ability to reproduce.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to dixiegrrrrl (Reply #4)

Fri Jun 1, 2012, 08:18 PM

6. Probably because the amount of radiation added to the Pacific is miniscule?

Outside of the coastal areas of Fukushima, the radioactive water leaking from Fukushima gets diluted in the vastness of the Pacific Ocean, where bluefin spend most of their adult lives. The tons of radioactive water from Fukushima pale in comparison to the 622 million cubic km of seawater the Pacific contains.

It's interesting to note that a top-tier predator such as the bluefin, having consumed and bioaccumulated the radiation contained in many smaller fish lower on the food chain for the past year, is still being caught with radiation levels far below the allowable safe limits set by the US and Japanese governments.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to NickB79 (Reply #6)

Fri Jun 1, 2012, 10:46 PM

8. How many times has the Japanese gov't increased the "safe limit" levels in the past year?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread