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Fukushima crisis new blow to fishermen’s hopes

August 29, 2013 • Business


In this Monday, Aug. 26, 2013 photo, fisherman Fumio Suzuki stands on his boat Ebisu Maru before the start of fishing in the waters off Iwaki, about 40 kilometers (25 miles) south of the tsunami-crippled Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant, Japan. Suzuki’s trawler is one of 14 at his port helping to conduct once-a-week fishing expeditions in rotation to measure radiation levels of fish they catch in the waters off Fukushima. Fishermen in the area hope to resume test catches following favorable sampling results more than two years after the disaster, though for now fishing is suspended due to leaks of radiation-contaminated water from storage tanks at the nuclear power plant. (AP Photo/Koji Ueda)

YOTSUKURA, Japan (AP) — Third-generation fisherman Fumio Suzuki sets out into the Pacific Ocean every seven weeks. Not to catch fish to sell, but to catch fish that can be tested for radiation.

For the last 2 ½ years, fishermen from the port of Yotsukura near the stricken Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear plant have been mostly stuck on land with little to do. There is no commercial fishing along most of the Fukushima coast. In a nation highly sensitive to food safety, there is no market for the fish caught near the stricken plant because the meltdowns it suffered contaminated the ocean water and marine life with radiation.

A sliver of hope emerged after recent sampling results showed a decline in Login to read more

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