Tumors on Pacific Coast fish cause concern for local fishermen

When Hirasaka Hiroshi caught this terrifying large fish in the waters off northern Japan (see photo above), the catch added substance to Japanese fishermen’s concerns over the effects of the Fukushima nuclear power plantaccident on local fish populations. Now, just days after we learned thatradiation from the devastated Fukushima nuclear power plant is much worse than expected (exposure at the plant can kill a person in less than an hour), a geoengineering researcher reports that fishermen from the United States Pacific Coast are growing increasingly alarmed as they catch more and more fish filled with bloody, cancerous tumors.

The situation is concerning because unlike people, tumors are rarely found on fish. In fact, up until the past couple of years, many species of fish have absolutely no documented cases of tumors. As an example, this smallmouth bass, caught just six months ago, is the very first documented case of a tumor on a smallmouth bass in the state in which it was caught.  Cancerous growths on fish are extremely rare events.

First documented case of a tumor on a smallmouth bass in the state of Pennsylvania

Radiation from the Fukushima nuclear power plant reaches the shores of the United States

Since the March 2011 disaster in which an earthquake-triggered tsunami caused an explosion and subsequent meltdown at the Fukushima nuclear power plant, radiation leaking from the plant continues to contaminate thePacific Ocean. Japan has already banned fishing anywhere near the area while the United States says the dilution of the radiation in the ocean lessens the danger to Americans. According to Alaska’s Division of Environmental Health:

“The safety of fish and shellfish from Alaskan waters and beaches are not affected by the nuclear reactor damage in Japan.”

Still, as seen in the map below, the predominant currents carry ocean water, and fish, from Japan to the western shores of the United States. Should Americans be worried about Fukushima radiation reaching the shores of the United States? Despite the government’s “guessing game” over the potential effects, many believe the danger is real and that in fact, Americans are being sold contaminated fish without full disclosure (or understanding) of the danger to their health.

Map shows the ocean currents between Fukushima, Japan and North America (United States and Mexico)

Ken Buesseler, who earned his Ph.D. studying the fallout of the A-Bomb tests from the ’60s, didn’t expect much public concern immediately following the Fukushima accident. In April, 2015, he told The Daily Beast,

“I really didn’t expect the U.S. to have a strong response—at least not the public. Initially, yes. There was a right to be concerned those first few months. But about a year and a half ago, we saw more and more calls of people asking about swimming in Santa Cruz, and should they move their homes to be safe, because they had seen visually the debris [fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][from the Fukushima power plant] show up.”

That radiation from the accident reached America’s shorts and contaminated Pacific Coast fish is without question.  In late 2014, researchers reported inAmerican Scientist that radiation from the even had indeed reached American shores.

“The evidence is “unequivocal” that the tuna–caught off San Diego a year ago–were contaminated with radiation from Japan’s nuclear disaster.”

Water leaking from Fukushima nuclear power plant pours Strontium-90 into the Pacific Ocean

Ground water seeping beneath the melted-down reactor cores is seeping into the Pacific Ocean at a rate of 300 tons of radioactive water each day. Efforts to stop the flow of radiation have thus far failed. As a result, radioactive water flowing into the Pacific is contaminating and killing sea life. As proof, researchers point out that fish caught hundreds of miles off America’s shorelines all test positive for radiation contamination. Just a few months ago, Blue-Fin tuna caught off the coast of California tested positive for large levels of Cesium-137 and Strontium-90 contamination.

According to Wood Hole Oceanographic Institute’s Ken Buesseler, Cesium-137 is not the concern, it’s Strontium-90 that poses the greatest danger.

“My latest concern is shifting, as the exposure for cesium has gone down 10,000 times, but it has stayed pretty constant for strontium-90.”

Strontium-90 is a byproduct of nuclear fission and behaves more like calcium than salt, embedding itself in bones, and can take two years rather than two months (as with Cesium-137) to pass through the body. And it’s very, very hard to clean up.

Proof of radioactive contamination provided in the form of pictures of cancerous fish

As proof of the effects of Fukushima radiation on Pacific Coast fish, a geoengineering researcher provides a plethora of photos taken by Pacific Coast fishermen showing a wide range of bizarre damage to oceanic sea life.

Local Environmental Observers (LEO) Network in Hydaburg, Alaska provided this photo showing three different Alaskan Salmon full of cancerous growths. The local fisherman who caught the fish explained:

“On the outside the fish looked fine. The growths looked kind of like individual little salmon eggs, and about the same size. [Other] people were seeing the same kind of growths in their fish as well.”

Salmon caught in Alaska filled with cancerous tumors

Local Environmental Observer also reports sick fish with lesions and tumors being caught near Nigliq Channel.

Fish with tumors caught near Nigliq Channel

Fish with tumors caught near Nigliq Channel

Another fisherman from the area says:

“In all the years I’ve been fishing I never caught any fish like this. Caught three more sick fish with same markings and this time one had some kind of growths coming out from its mouth.”

Tumored fish caught in Alaska

This fish displayed tumorous growths all over its head. It is a Chinook salmon – the state fish of Alaska.

Chinook Salmon, the state fish of Alaska, covered with gross tumors

Pacific Coast fishermen say they are angry that the government is ignoring their concern while scientists explain away the phenomena, instructing west coast fisherman to continue fishing, and selling their fish to the public, and stop worrying about radiation poisoning. According to Geoengineering Watch, U.S. government agencies have yet to act on these alarming reports. They say thatFreedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service confirm they “have not tested for radiation and have no plans to do so in the future.”

Even Buessler is worried about the lack of government oversight.

“The U.S. government has failed us because they don’t analyze ocean waters for radioactivity. Once it gets salty, the ground water gets to the ocean, they don’t study it anymore. The EPA studies our drinking water and the air we breathe, but not ocean water… It’s crazy. It’s in the U.S. national interest to have these types of measurements, and I’ve told them, but no agency is stepping up to the plate.”

Fish with tumors

While scientists proclaim there is nothing to fear, they will concede that while Japan struggles to stop the leaking radioactive material, another earthquake or tsunami in the area could prove disastrous for the Pacific Ocean – and the planet.

Chinook Salmon, the state fish of Alaska, covered with gross tumors on its head

Sources: Geoengineering Watch, National Geographic, Live Science, Alaska Division of Environmental Health, PBS, FDS, American Scientist, Daily Mail