The fishermen, from the Ibaraki Federation of Fisheries Cooperative Associations, whose members include 13 coastal fishery cooperative associations, decided not to go out and fish today.
Many cannot trade with middlemen at the fish markets. Even if they can trade the bidding prices are low due to rumors of tainted fish and the trip would not cover their fuel costs.
“Unless problems at the plant end soon, fishermen won’t be able to go on living without compensation,” said Hikaru Sugiyama a fishing cooperative official in Ibaraki. “We want compensation from TEPCO (Tokyo Electric Co. and plant operator), the government and the prefecture.”
Radioactive material was found in tiny kounago fish (sand lance) four days ago. Radioactive iodine up to 4,800 times the legal limit has been detected in the sea near the plant. Cesium was also found at levels above safety limits for koungo off the cost of Ibaraki, south of Fukushima
The Japanese government has not set the legal limits of iodine-131 for fish to determine bans, but the reading was about double the permitted level of 2,000 becquerels for vegetables.
As previously reported, according to Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of Japan, 111 fishing ports in Iwate, 142 in Miyagi and 10 in Fukushima prefectures are in ruins and there is considerable damage in parts of Aomori. There isn’t going to be any fishing fleet going out this year, particularly as so many of the boats are sunk and many harbors clogged with debris.
Many individual boats will have to dock in the south, Chiba and Kanagawa prefectures, where many of the surviving boats have relocated.
Japan’s oyster production, which was about 90% concentrated in the three prefectures hardest hit by the tsunami, is also in complete ruins.
Even if the government says the fish is safe, people will not want to buy seafood from that area,” said a local fisherman. “We probably can’t fish there for several years.”
Meanwhile, Yukio Edano, top government spokesman, apologized to Japan and other nations which included Korea Taiwan and China, for the government’s decision to let water containing low-level radioactive water flow into the sea without consulting them beforehand.