Although it’s been well over a year since a massive 8.9 magnitude earthquake devastated Japan and damaged its Fukushima Dai-ichi reactors, the impacts of the event continue to resonate, even in our aquatic ecosystems. Researchers have found that bluefin tuna—which migrate roughly 6,000 miles from the East Asian waters to the California coast—display levels of radioactive cesium some 10 times higher than populations from years before the disaster. While the fish are still considered safe to eat by federal recommendation, scientists are startled by the intensity and distance with which the contamination has remained within the fishes’ metabolic systems, and hope to find out more about how migratory species can transport nuclear radiation.
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