Saturday, January 19, 2013

Fish with 254,000 Bq/kg Cesium Was Caught Right at Fukushima I Nuke Plant, Not "Near Fukushima"

(UPDATE) True to its tabloid form, UK's Daily Mail reports the news, which clearly steals the lines from Zero Hedge calling the fish "Mike the Murasoi", or "Murasai" as the writer Mark Prigg misquotes in the article text. The writer fails to credit Zero Hedge though, and fails to quote Le Monde or AFP who spread the meme of "fish caught in the bay near the plant". Some journalism.


"Fish was caught near Fukushima" is how France's Le Monde seems to portray the event, though I can only read the Google translation:

Radioactivity on a record fish caught near Fukushima

Fish, close rockfish was caught in the bay near the central Fukukshima Daiichi...

Le Monde's article was sited at Zero Hedge also, calling the fish "Mike the Murasoi".

As I posted, the bottom-dwelling fish was caught right inside the harbor for the nuclear power plant, not near the plant or not near Fukushima:

TEPCO plans to close off the harbor mouth with a net.


Anonymous said...

great comments.. good to see bloggers correcting the press.. getting kinda normal...

also, thought i would post this as its not really being discussed.. wonder what you all might make of it?

great work admin!

arevamirpal::laprimavera said...

Election fraud? It all seems to have started with people who totally believed the online poll by Reuters Japan, which placed Japan Future Party in 2nd place. They thought (still think) that online poll was (is) the most reliable, showing the true voter intentions in the election.

Many chose not to understand that to win a district in the Japanese election system, you don't need the majority of votes in the district at all (it's a very simple math that does add up), and that many voters simply did not trust the new party that had been set up hastily, so close to the election.

Instead, they've found a good excuse - it's the voting count machine fraud! Look, the company that provides the machine has strong ties with the US, etc. etc. It's the US again, trying to rig the election to their liking! etc. etc. One of the recurring, favorite themes in Japan.

I think that's what the link you provided may be about, though I couldn't open it. Firewall blocked it.

Anonymous said...

A net, huh.

Anonymous said...

Since I'm French I'll try to give my own translation, and add some (hopefully useful) comments after:

Record breaking radioactivity in a fish caught near Fukushima
Le | 18.01.2013, 16h22

A fish caught for survey purposes near the damaged Fukushima nuclear plant was found to have an impressive amount of radiocativity, more than 2500 times the legal limit set by Japan. This has been revealed by the operator of the site.

Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco) declared in a statement that they mesured 254000 bq/kg of radioactive cesium in a fish called "murasoi", which is 2540 times the limit of 100bq/kg set by the gouvernment for consumption of sea products.

The fish, which belongs to the Sebastidae family (rockfish), was caught in the bay near the Fukushima Daiichi plant which had 4 of its 6 reactors badly damaged when giant tsunami hit on March 11, 2011.
An important amount of radioactive substances have been released to the environment.

Nets installed

To not have highly contaminated fish leave far away in order to limit the risk of being eaten by other species or being caught by fishermen, Tepco will install new nets around. Several restrictions were or are still in place concerning food products from the Fukushima prefecture and the surrounding areas, since the government made legal limits tighter last year.

On August 21, 2012, Tepco announced that a Lionfish caught in the pacific ocean inside the 20 kilometer zone around the plant that is closed to any human activity was mesured at 25800bq/kg of cesium. This number - 258 times the threshold set by the government - was at that time the highest level recorded since March 11, 2011. Comparable level have also been found on burbot fish.


So, first of all title doesn't really reflects the article (in the title: "near fukushima", in the article "near the fukushima nuclear plant"). This is a very common thing in french media to put "attractive" titles and to have more "balanced" articles.
That said, the article never say "inside the harbor of the plant" but vaguelly talks about a "bay near the Fukushima Daiichi plant" which doesn't exists. Just looking Google Maps could help to not make such mistakes.

Secondly, one detail at the top of the article is that it has been written by, not LeMonde. The two redactions of LeMonde and are separated and do not work very well together, mainly because LeMonde sees as stealing their customers (if you read online you're less likely to buy the paper).
While LeMonde has experienced journalists and some financial resources (LeMonde, paper version is diffused at 325000 copies, each copy is 1.8 euro) to, for example, being able to send journalists on site does not and basically work the same way as many other online media (they mix AFP/reuters/tweets/other online media and blogs). They might well be following your blog and tweets.

In conclusion, it is not really a surprise to see quite big mistakes in a article. I remember several of your posts in which you explained that paper versions of japanese newspapers did a much better job than their internet version, and I think that's what we can see here too.

Sorry for the very long comment, I hope it helps to understand this article and more generally the reliability of LeMonde/

Anonymous said...

OMG! In the first post I thought "TEPCO consulted the fishermen in October [last year] and took measures to stop the fish from escaping the harbor". I wonder what they did Oct, 2012 to stop the fish maybe they gave them a stern talking to. So they intend to close the barn door almost 2 years after the horses ran free? This particular species may not be far ranging but it wasn't the only fish in the sea who knows how many other critters got a good dose and moved on to greener pastures?

arevamirpal::laprimavera said...

Anon above, thank you very much for your translation and insight into Le Monde. Very interesting.

Anonymous said...

It's me again (the french guy from above)

I checked a little further (here on enenews: and here on a french website:

It seems to me that the article of is almost entirely based on the AFP article (actually a plain copy and paste in French). The error of calling the harbor a bay, as well as the way too vague title are both present in the AFP article.

So in the end, it looks like the mistake is originally from AFP, and just copy-pasted the all thing without performing any check or correction.

Apolline said...

Yes, I confirm that most of french global information I read come from AFP (Agence France Presse). All propaganda.
I never go to, but only on independant sites (like yours, Ultraman). Bad point for Enenews.

Anonymous said...

'in the bay' 'in the Harbor' 'near Fukushima' This is all pising in the same pot. Semantics. They releashed loads of water into the sea. They still are. It's the sea or the ground water. The solution to pollution is dilution, right?

Just don't eat the damn fish from there. Any fish. Are the french and german embassies in Tokyo still checking Tsukiji market daily? I can bet you they are. And I can bet you they are not digesting the fish. Even Hokkaido and Pacific cod is laced with cesium.

Anonymous said...


I stopped eating Cod (all fish, but I rarely ate sushi anyway) after the accident. What we get here in Hiroshima mostly comes in frozen from Alaska or Russia. The Hokkaido Cod is always fresh and slightly pink.

Damn I miss my fish-n-chips!

Stock said...

Radiation Spread in the Pacific, a good model
This model does self admit that they are completely ignoring the effects of bio accumulation, which would make things much worse. Looks like Hawaii is already seeing the ocean impact.

The red zone is 1/1000 times less than the original dispersion in Japan. That doesn't sound all that great considering they just caught a fish with 2,500,000 Bq per kG at the Fukushima harbor. Anything above 100 Bq/kG is extremely bad.

JAnonymous said...

Thanks to the anonymous french citizen up there for the translation.

I second everything he said and will just add that french media (like any media) is run by corporate interests. Sure, LeMonde has good journalists, ethics, and so on.

But they also bow to the pressure and would choose not to investigate a can of worms everytime, especially when a golden story from a faraway place is just waiting to be picked up.

Not a single french media mentionned the Areva subsidy to Niger government in order to keep acquiring at low price (= stealing) all their uranium...

Anonymous said...

Fishes of the family of sebastes or sebasticus dwell very deep in dark and cold waters, they would not come into a small harbour, but murasoi lives at 3 - 5 m deep.

Anonymous said...

Daily Mail is full of shit. They can't spell or write for shit. They can't even get simple facts right, and they voice subjective opinions as fact with no basis or research.

Mike said...

I wonder whether the distinction between "at the plant" and "near the plant is really material, since the breakwater is open to the sea. Contaminated water has been intermingling freely with ocean water ever since the accident. And is there any particular reason to believe the tested fish spent its entire life withing the breakwater?

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