World News‎ > ‎

Fishing Is Banned Off The Coast Of Fukushima

posted 23 Aug 2013, 02:32 by Mpelembe   [ updated 23 Aug 2013, 02:33 ]

Fishing Unions ban fishing off the coast of Fukushima following the latest contaminated water leak at the crippled Japanese nuclear plant.

ONAHAMA PORT, FUKUSHIMA PREFECTURE, JAPAN (AUGUST 23, 2013) (REUTERS) -  A ban on fishing along the coast of Fukushima prefecture was greeted with frustration and anger by locals on Friday (August 22), in the aftermath of the latest contaminated water leak from the crippled nuclear reactor.

In the port of Onahama, just 61 kilometers (37 miles) south of Fukushima Daiichi, fishermen who were forced to stop fishing were furious at the operator of the nuclear plant.

"What can I say? Everyone is so sick of the situation that they are at a loss for words. Whatever we say is useless since they are still discharging the contaminated water. Even if they make a fuss, there isn't anything they can do to stop the leak is there?," one 68-year old fisherman who declined to be named said.

The Onahama fishing union is one of many along the coast that voluntarily suspended all operations since Tokyo Electric Power Co (Tepco) announced this week contaminated water with dangerously high levels of radiation was leaking from a storage tank, and possibly in to the sea.

"If 300 tonnes are leaking, it will eventually reach the sea. Even if they (Tepco) are going to create a bypass, I worry whether they can ensure safety," said Takayuki Yanai of the Onahama Fisheries Cooperative Trustee.

Its been a year since fishing unions the area had resumed limited trial fishing after the Fukushima nuclear meltdown. That had allowed them to operate in limited fishing grounds and catch only produce deemed safe, but in essence had allowed them to resume their livelihood.

At port a few local residents continued recreational fishing by the pier though some said they would not eat the fish they caught, or swim unprotected in the sea.

"As long as it doesn't enter the eye or if you don't eat the fish, I think it is fine," said 35-year-old Katsunori Suzuki, who was here with his wife and children.

The operator of Japan's crippled Fukushima nuclear plant on Thursday (August 22) also revealed new spots of high radiation had been found near storage tanks holding highly contaminated water, raising fear of fresh leaks as the disaster goes from bad to worse.

In an inspection carried out following the revelation of the leakage, high radiationreadings - 100 millisieverts per hour and 70 millisieverts per hour - were recorded at the bottom of two tanks in a different part of the plant, Tepco said.

A tsunami crashed into the Fukushima Daiichi power plant north of Tokyo on March 11, 2011, causing fuel-rod meltdowns at three reactors, radioactive contamination of air, sea and food and triggering the evacuation of 160,000 people.