Radiation tests urged for sockeye salmon

    1 of 1 2 of 1

      Marine biologist Alexandra Morton sees a need to test returning sockeye salmon for radiation from Japan’s Fukushima nuclear disaster.

      “There was a large release of radioactive material in the water and in the air,” Morton told the Straight in a phone interview from her home on Malcolm Island. “I suspect that this generation of sockeye were out of the way, probably on their way home. But my sense of this is we need to test everywhere we can. As soon as I heard about this, I covered my gardens. I suspect that government doesn’t know how to deal with this, and in the face of it they just don’t want us to know.”

      An estimated four million sockeye have started coming back to the Fraser River, and people in the fishing industry are catching them.

      Ernie Crey, fisheries advisor to the Sto:lo Tribal Council, agrees with Morton. “I think it’s a practical idea,” Crey told the Straight by phone. Asked if the returning fish are safe, he said: “I don’t know. This is a good question.”

      However, Crey doesn’t expect the federal government to go ahead and test salmon for radiation. “That’s not something DFO [Fisheries and Oceans Canada] is going to voluntarily do or Health Canada or Environment Canada,” he said.

      Responding by email to a query by the Straight, Fisheries and Oceans spokesperson Lara Sloan wrote that the Canadian Food Inspection Agency “would be responsible for deciding what fish for consumption would need to be tested for food safety”.

      CFIA spokesperson Mark Clarke said the agency could not comment by the Straight ’s deadline.

      According to Morton, sockeye are known to go as far out as the Bering Sea, and from there, swim back across the Pacific Ocean. “So they have to turn homewards at some point…but also they’re right out in the open Pacific…and they go on a big circle there,” she said. “They’re eating plankton that’s eating smaller things.”




      Aug 18, 2011 at 6:33pm

      Alexandra and Ernie should get a group of people together who share this concern, and raise money to pay a university to do the testing. Plenty of people would chip in voluntarily for an unbiased private test. The government is not going to change their mind, so pleading is just a waste of time. Even if the government did test the salmon, who in their right mind would trust their results?


      Aug 19, 2011 at 12:31am

      Wonder if Greenpeace could be interested? Tuna is also at the top of the food chain. Fish swim everywhere. Big deal to people who eat fish. Locally, alaska pollock could be tested also.

      Bruce Conway

      Aug 19, 2011 at 8:23am

      "The radiation found in B.C. was carried by the jet stream, and is now falling over the West Coast with rain, which is mixing with sea water and accumulating in seaweed, SFU said in a news release."

      Read more: http://www.vancouversun.com/news/Radiation+from+Japan+reactor+detected+s...

      Two words we tend to forget: bioaccumulation, biomagnification.

      Another word: rainfall. Canada has been getting high levels in rainfall for five months now Toronto also has high levels around the Great Lakes. Rain has a habit of falling into the ocean. It also gets taken back up as clouds and more rainfall.

      Fish swim in that ocean. With millions of gallons (documented, and undocumented) going into the ocean I would guess everybody had best stay away from fish - forever - given the half lives of some of the over 250 isotopes which have spilled - including Cesium-137 which will be around for 300 years.

      Perhaps what the government is not telling us is that readings don't matter anymore, and that we should all look for signs of leukemia within 5 years, and we're going to get it from rainfall, ocean, salmon, soil, imported cars, people, birds, insects and air.

      liz butler-henderson

      Oct 17, 2013 at 8:40pm

      It's ridiculous that we have to petition our government to do testing and naive of us to believe them even if they did.
      there is something you can do to protect yourself other than the obvious such as stay out of the rain; avoid snow; don't eat ocean product; I'm talking about taking zeolite.
      After Chernobyl, people were fed ground zeolite that was baked into bread and cookies. Zeolite absorbs some forms of radiation. It loves Cesium and Strontium. It will also take up any heavy metals in your system. You put the ground mineral in capsules for ease of taking or for children I would suggest a thick drink. You don't want it near your teeth as it will damage them as it is altered glass. This crystal acts like a sieve, in fact, it's called a molecular sieve and is used in its synthetic version in kidney dialysis machines. You require natural zeolite though as this must survive the stomach acid which would break apart synthetic zeolite into its constituents of aluminium and silica.
      Buy your powdered zeolite from the Southern Hemisphere. As it likes radiation, anything here outside at mines sites would have been contaminated.
      Tepco is using zeolite in sand bags right now as a barrier.
      Google it and you'll see what I mean and stay away from the liquid version; you need a lot more than this amount of rock to absorb the radiation. After it picks up the radiation you simply eliminate it.
      If our government was doing its job, like the Russians did, they'd be advising us of these mitigation methods as well as doing open and accurate testing.
      I like the other blogger's idea here of combining money and doing our own testing. I would contribute.