Sunday, March 18, 2012

Huge offshore wind-power project sparks backlash from Fukushima fishing community

The government-sponsored project to build a huge, floating wind-power installation in waters off Fukushima Prefecture has sparked a fierce backlash from local fishermen already hit hard by the ongoing crisis at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant.

At the request of the Fukushima Prefectural Government, the central government has come up with the idea of floating about 100 windmills in the Pacific Ocean off Fukushima to generate much-needed electricity. But the scheme could force the local fishing industry to restrict its operations, and the Fukushima prefectural federations of fisheries and fish processing cooperative associations stand firmly against the project.

Fish caught in waters off Fukushima Prefecture have registered more than the government-imposed limit of 500 becquerels of radioactive cesium per kilogram, but there are some kinds of fish whose radiation levels have begun to decline. The offshore wind power project surfaced suddenly at a time when the fishing body was considering resuming catches on an experimental basis, based on the results of fish inspections by the prefectural government. Read More