Alaska would rather go fishing

SUBHEAD: Models of effects of Fukushima do not address ongoing and future radioactive releases or set a baseline.

By Doug Dasher on 6 November 2014 for Univ. of Alaska Fairbanks -

Image above: Giant kelp forests along North American westcoast are foundation of marine ecosystem and may be subject to increasing accumulation of radioactivity from seawater. From (

[IB Publisher: From audio of press conference by Doug Dasher, U of A marine researcher. See link above for mpg file. And where is the State of Hawaii efforts to set baseline and determine ongoing effects?]

At 7:00 in

The concern has been we have these models indicating the potential for levels to increase, potentially up to what they saw in the levels in the North Pacific during the 1960s nuclear testing. That still would not indicate an immediate health problem or exceeding the FDA guidelines. But there’s a lot of unknowns, a lot of uncertainties.

There are others that also have the same message that they want to get out, we really need to sample to understand this and we really need to look at what’s happening out there in the ecosystem at the same time. There’s an opportunity to do this. It’s a huge amount of initial release, and the models do not address the continuing release. Fukushima has continued to leak […]

Run-off problems from the water they’re trying to pump out and contain on the site. The tanks are leaking, several typhoons have been through there this year. […]

So there’s a lot of things taking place, it’s not a stable site.

There’s that issue too, which we need to know what’s going on there now, so in case something else happens, we can be better prepared for it. And account for the accumulating long term leakage for at least the next couple of years as it continues to occur.

At 23:00 in
You do have ships and programs going on that may be sampling marine waters for everything else but radionuclides, so you’re not necessarily directing that a ship has to go out solely at cost to sample for radionuclides. You’re looking at adding this on to another program.

At 43:00 in

The projections… say nothing about any ecological risk […] no concrete information to even delve into making a real judgment on any type of risk to the ecosystem.

That’s one of the things with stellar sea lions, if you have an impacted stellar sea lion population like there was in the Aleutians, but it’s different things, climate change, whatever contaminants, then suddenly you throw radionuclides back into the mix where they disappeared, they can have an effect, may not affect a healthy animal, but an animal that’s already impaired that’s like an extra burden,

Who knows. But the information’s not out there.

Alaska DEC says seafood okay

By Staff on 23 January 2014 for the Juneau Empire -

The Department of Environmental Conservation isn’t actively testing fish for radiation, Commissioner Larry Hartig told the Senate Natural Resources Committee on Wednesday.

A radiation leak from a nuclear power plant in Japan after a March 2011 earthquake and subsequent tsunami continues to worry some about whether it’s safe to eat fish from the Pacific Ocean, but Hartig said those concerns are unfounded.

Hartig said the state is relying on data and analyses from other coastal states, British Columbia and federal agencies like the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency to determine the safety of Alaska’s fish.

The Food and Drug Administration says that it hasn’t found any evidence to-date that dangerous levels of radionuclides are in the U.S. food supply. The EPA also says their monitoring shows no dangerous level of radiation in Pacific fish.

A report from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found radiation levels far below what would pose a health risk in Pacific bluefin tuna spawned off the coast of Japan around the time of the Fukushima Daiichi incident. Still, Sen. Cathy Giessel, R-Anchorage, said her constituents have come to her with concerns.

Hartig said in an interview that the department tests fish regularly, just not for radiation.

“We try to test for things that we think present real risk, like mercury,” Hartig said.

With more coastline than the continental United States, Hartig said it would be too expensive for the state to undertake a testing program that would be “statistically valid.” He said that people who claim that Alaska’s seafood is unsafe are mostly people from Outside. He said he’s concerned that people are being misinformed and aren’t taking into consideration scientific research.

“Fish in Alaska is a very important food resource; it’s a very healthy food resource,” Hartig said. “So, when I see things thrown out there, it worries me that not only will it affect our fisheries markets but also that it can affect people’s decisions on what they eat.”

Tyson Fick, spokesman for the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute, said he has the same concerns. ASMI is a marketing partnership between the state and the Alaska seafood industry. He said people who make claims that Alaska’s fish, or fish from the Pacific Ocean, are unsafe to eat are misinformed.

“If you check it against any kind of credible source, any kind of peer-reviewed science, they blow it out of the water as completely unfounded,” Fick said. “In the absence of understanding and clear science, fear rules.”

See also:
Ea O Ka Aina: California to monitor radiation 1/13/14


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