Testing has shown that no fish or shellfish off the Pacific coast have radioactive contamination that would pose a risk to people who eat them.
Fish and shellfish we tested
In 2012, we began testing fish and shellfish for radiation levels. The fish and shellfish samples were collected from Pacific coast waters. Samples included albacore tuna, steelhead, salmon, and halibut. We also tested an albacore tuna caught in 2009, before the Fukushima disaster. The razor clams and mussels were collected at Pacific beaches in Washington.
We tested for three isotopes: cesium-134, cesium-137, and strontium-90. All three are produced in nuclear power reactors. Cesium-134 has a shorter half-life than the others. If cesium-134 is detected, it most likely would have come from the Fukushima disaster. Cesium-137 and strontium-90 could be from any one of several sources, including Fukushima. All tests found levels of radiation well below what could be a public health risk.
We found very low levels of cesium-137 in all samples tested including the albacore tuna collected before the Fukushima disaster. One albacore tuna caught in 2012 contained a trace amount of cesium-134. In all cases, the activity is far below a public health concern.
Organizations that monitor seafood safety
- US Food and Drug Administration response to the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power facility incident
- Fact Sheet - U.S. Seafood Safe and Unaffected by Radiation Contamination from Japanese Nuclear Power Plan Incident; U.S. Monitoring Control Strategy Explained (PDF) - FDA, EPA, NOAA