We still don’t know the impacts of radiation on Pacific salmon. Why not?
The handful of articles featured in The Georgia Straight address the inconsistencies in informing the public about the harmful
(or harmless) elevated radiation levels in our air and water. The articles featured cover a wide variety of subjects: the varied and dangerous levels of radiation measured across North America; the lack of information being shared with the public; uncertainty about what levels that are safe or harmful; lack of testing and public information; and exposing the elephant in the room – the huge grey area these risks pose when it comes to knowing just how harmful exposure is and why we don’t have more information available to us.
Read the articles for yourself and form your own opinions.
The big question, and one that I have become interested in, is the fisheries. How are the levels of radiation effecting our fish, marine life, and water in the Pacific Ocean? And why aren’t the fish being tested?
Of the many subjects these articles tackled, here are a couple of snippets about the health of Pacific salmon:
One aspect of the fallout and seawater contamination that remains unclear is how it might affect fish stocks, especially migratory species like salmon that could pass through poisoned areas of the ocean, eat irradiated prey, or have radioactive water dumped in their home ranges by Pacific currents.
Of the five species of Pacific salmon that are native to western North America, the sockeye is the most commercially prized. It also has the most wide-ranging migration route through the North Pacific, swimming for two to three years – as far as just northeast of the top of Japan – before coming back to its natal streams in Alaska, B.C., and the U.S. Northwest.
This year’s returning sockeye are just starting to be caught off Vancouver Island’s west coast. So far, there is no word as to whether or not these fish will be tested. According to an April 17 story in the Anchorage Daily News, U.S. federal officials have already stated that there is no need to even test Alaskan salmon. [Read more]. – Alex Roslin, The Georgia Straight
“The idea of radiation-related toxicity in salmon, I think, is very worrisome, and it’s incumbent on Health Canada to either test or explain why it’s not necessary [to test]. Now, I don’t know salmon’s cycle. It may be that the salmon that are in the area that’s closest to Fukushima won’t be being consumed for a certain time period. So it’s best to test at a different time. I don’t know that, but if that’s the reason, they should be clear.” [Read more]. – Joyce Murray, Vancouver Quadra Liberal MP
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