Seafood not affected by Japan radiation

By Jin Zhu (China Daily)
Updated: 2011-04-08 07:06
Large Medium Small

BEIJING - China's sea products will not be affected by radioactive water in the Pacific Ocean in the near future but the country still needs to keep a close eye on monitoring developments, said experts in the marine environment and fisheries.

By Thursday, the nuclear leak in Japan that was caused when an earthquake on March 11 and resulting tsunami disrupted the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant has had little effect on the sea near China, said Liu Guimei, deputy director of the marine environment office under the National Marine Environmental Forecasting Center of the State Oceanic Administration.

Related readings:
Seafood not affected by Japan radiation Radiation found in domestic vegetables
Seafood not affected by Japan radiation Trace radiation found in more Chinese areas
Seafood not affected by Japan radiation Food to be tested for radiation
Seafood not affected by Japan radiation China to test water, food for radiation

Seafood not affected by Japan radiation Radiation remains unharmful in China

"According to analysis of the data, the radioactive sea water will gradually flow into the north Pacific, but some radioactive particles could be blown by air and may fall in the sea (near China) in small quantities," she told China Daily.

The State Oceanic Administration had not released details of its monitoring of the situation by press time on Thursday.

On Monday, a total of 11,500 tons of low-level radioactive water had been dumped into the Pacific Ocean from the stricken nuclear power plant.

Japanese officials said the measure was taken to free up more space to store highly radioactive water from in and around the troubled No 2 Reactor at the plant.

But the movement aroused a public outcry and kindled concerns about the marine environment and the safety of seafood.

"We're getting enquiries from customers all the time who want to know if the seafood is fresh and whether it was affected by radiation," said Zheng Zheng, a 29-year-old executive chef at a Japanese restaurant in Shanghai.

The restaurant used to import most of its fish from Japan but now buys it from other countries, including Canada and Norway.

People in the wholesale fish business said, altogether, trade has been steady.

"Sales of oceanic fish and other aquatic products have not seen a reduction yet," said a trader in Guangzhou, the capital of Guangdong province.

By Thursday, coastal provinces and municipalities, including Zhejiang, Jiangsu, Guangdong and Shanghai, were closely monitoring the level of radiation in the air and at sea, according to

"All seafood in the domestic market is safe to eat, including food imported from the sea near Japan, since it was fished from May to December last year," said Qiu Yongsong, a researcher with the South China Sea Fisheries Research Institute under the Chinese Academy of Fishery Sciences.

At present, it is unclear what the long-term effects of large amounts of contamination will be, Qiu added.

"But it can be expected that China's inshore fishing operations that mainly focus on the East China Sea and the Huanghai Sea will not be affected since radiation dissipates quickly in the vast Pacific," he said.

However, because long-range fishing in the northwest Pacific this year will begin in May, future tests targeting radioactive substances must focus on seafood coming from Japan, such as Pacific saury and red flying squid, he said.

Radiation was detected above safe limits in sand lances in Yamagata on Monday. It was the first time seafood had been found with excessive radiation since the nuclear leak last month, Xinhua News Agency reported.

Wang Qian, Shi Yingying, and Zheng Caixiong contributed to this story.