Northwest Fisheries Science Center

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Document Type: Journal Article
Center: NWFSC
Document ID: 7614
Title: Trace levels of Fukushima disaster radionuclides in East Pacific albacore
Author: Delvan R. Neville, Anthony Jason Phillips, Richard D. Brodeur, Kathryn A. Higley
Publication Year: 2014
Journal: Environmental Science & Technology
Volume: 48
Issue: 9
Pages: 4739-4743
Keywords: radioecology,albacore,cesium,seafood safety

The Fukushima Daiichi power station released several radionuclides into the Pacific following the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami. A total of 26 Pacific albacore (Thunnus alalunga) caught off the Pacific Northwest U.S. coast between 2008 and 2012 were analyzed for 137Cs and Fukushima-attributed 134Cs. Both 2011 (2 of 2) and several 2012 (10 of 17) edible tissue samples exhibited increased activity concentrations of 137Cs (234824 mBq/kg of wet weight) and 134Cs (18.2 356 mBq/kg of wet weight). The remaining 2012 samples and all pre-Fukushima (2008-2009) samples possessed lower 137Cs activity concentrations (103272 mBq/kg of wet weight) with no detectable 134Cs activity. Age, as indicated by fork length, was a strong predictor for both the presence and concentration of 134Cs (p < 0.001). Notably, many migration-aged fish did not exhibit any 134Cs, suggesting that they had not recently migrated near Japan. None of the tested samples would represent a significant change in annual radiation dose if consumed by humans.

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Theme: Sustainable, safe and secure seafood for healthy populations and vibrant communities
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Provide scientific support to ensure safe seafood for healthy populations and characterize how human activities and climate affect risks from pathogens, chemical contaminants and biotoxins