Full California Tuna Study Now Online: Possibility of radioactive contamination raises public health concerns — Spent less than a month in waters near Japan — Turtles, sharks, birds also at risk?
May 30th, 2012
Pacific bluefin tuna transport Fukushima-derived radionuclides from Japan to California
Daniel J. Madigana,1, Zofia Baumannb, and Nicholas S. Fisher
Edited by Karl K. Turekian, Yale University, North Haven, CT
Approved April 25, 2012 (received for review March 22, 2012)
“Because bluefin tuna are harvested annually in the Eastern Pacific Ocean (EPO) [...] for human consumption (2000 to 2010), the possibility of radioactive contamination raises public health concerns.
All 15 PBFT collected in 2011 contained 134Cs (4.0 ± 1.4 Bq kg−1 dry wt) and 137Cs (6.3 ±1.5 Bq kg−1) in white muscle tissue. At the time of capture, total 134+137Cs concentrations were about 10 times higher in 2011 PBFT than in PBFT from previous years.
Back-calculated 134Cs:137Cs ratios [...] suggests that the radiocesium levels in California-caught PBFT were the result of <1 mo exposure to contaminated waters near Japan.
Other highly migratory species (HMS) (e.g., turtles, sharks, and seabirds) that forage near Japan may assimilate radiocesium and transport it to distant regions of the north and south Pacific.