Radioactive Tuna Raises Concerns in Southern California
Photo: Video by kmir6.com
After several radioactive Bluefin tuna crossed the Pacific Ocean and ended up off the southern coast of California, many here in the valley are worried about the safety of our seafood.
Scientists say they are surprised that such a large fish crossed the ocean and still carried radiation from the Japanese coast.
And that radiation is raising some concern here.
"Really shocked that that could even happen, it's quite scary," said Palm Desert resident, Sabine Skelton.
Scientists say Japan's crippled nuclear plant is the culprit for the radiation.
So the Bluefin tuna carried it 6,000 miles to our coast.
"I'm not surprised, it's a big ocean, they live in it, and they use the whole thing, so obviously they're going to get some degree of the pollution the radioactivity that's now in the environment," said Palm Desert resident, Tex Toltschin.
But researchers say the radiation levels are still well below safe-to-eat limits.
Still, some fresh fish restaurants like Fisherman's Market aren't taking any chances.
"We've decided that we'll probably stay away from all Pacific rim tuna, and primarily get yellow fin out of the Atlantic area, we'll buy more East Coast tuna than we will Pacific Rim tuna," said Fisherman's Market and Grill Restaurants CEO, Louis Pagano.
Louis Pagano has worked in the fish industry all his life, and has some advice for seafood lovers.
"I'd be careful, stay away Blue Fin tuna for the time being, and at that point I don't see any hazards in any of the other open ocean large swordfish, salmon, sea bass," said Pagano.
Some people worry the radiation could get worse before it gets better.
"Humans aren't known for doing a real great job with stuff like this, and we kind of think the ocean is vast and it doesn't matter what we do to it," said Toltschin.
Over a year, later the impacts of the Fukushima meltdown are still swimming towards us.
"Hope that it clears up soon and that no more tragedies like that happen so that we don't have to have radioactive seas," said Skelton.
Scientists will test a larger sample of tuna this summer to see what the radioactive levels are of those fish exposed longer to radioactive waters near Japan.