Saturday, March 31, 2012

Fukushima fishermen hopeless after nuke contamination postpones fishing season

FUKUSHIMA -- Fishermen in this prefecture's Okuaizu region were left hopeless after radioactive cesium exceeding the allowable limit detected in some river fish forced them to postpone this year's fishing season indefinitely.

"This river's sweetfish is exceptional," Kiroku Gonoi, 65, the head of a local fisheries cooperative, said as he posted a sign reading "No Fishing " along the Nojiri River in Okuaizu on March 30. "When I send it to my son and his wife who live far away, they are always pleased."

The fisheries cooperative of the town of Kaneyama and Showa village near the Nojiri River was forced to postpone this year's mountain stream fishing season, which was set to begin on April 1, after fish samples caught in the river in mid-March registered 119 to 139 becquerels of radioactive cesium per kilogram.

The readings exceed the new government-imposed provisional limit, which requires that cesium in regular food items not exceed 100 becquerels per kilogram.

The readings left many fishermen stunned, however. Furthermore, the Nojiri River runs some 130 kilometers away from the damaged Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant. Read More