Radiation found in Japan whales

2011-06-15 07:23

Tokyo - Radioactive caesium was detected from two minke whales caught off a city on the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido, 650 kilometres north-east of a damaged nuclear plant, a news report said on Tuesday.

Researchers examined six of the 17 whales during so-called research whaling in Kushiro city, which started this year's season in late April, and they detected 31 becquerels and 24.3 becquerels of radioactive caesium per kilogram in the two whales out of the six, Kyodo News reported citing a whalers' association.

While the level of the radioactive substances remained below the limit of 500 becquerels per kilogram, the association officials told a news conference in the city that the contamination must have been caused by the ongoing crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

Since the plant was damaged by a magnitude-9 earthquake and ensuing tsunami on March 11, it has leaked radioactive substances into the environment.

In 1987, Japan halted commercial whaling, complying with an international moratorium that went into effect in 1986.

Japan, however, has used a loophole in the accord to continue whaling under the premise of conducting scientific research. Critics accuse the country of doing it for money.

  • surfer - 2011-06-15 07:45

    It's called Karma!

      Zara - 2011-06-15 08:18

      For who? The whales?

  • PDP - 2011-06-15 08:57

    Research whaling my ass! You reap what you sow!

  • Jacques Jones - 2011-06-15 09:33

    "so-called research whaling" wtf is that? let's kill some whales to see if the radiation is affecting their life span?

  • Plain Jane - 2011-06-15 12:21

    flippin sick world.

      KanaMay - 2011-07-10 16:00

      Sigh ... How many times do I have to repeat that most Japanese have stopped eating whale meat, when they started importing cheap beef from USA? Of course, they are cheap because they might be from mad cows ... I'm sure Japanese people think the people who eat the fluffy pets of Mary are crazier, though lamb is far less smelly / oily than whale meat (from hearsay, not personal experience).

  • King Solomon - 2011-06-15 13:48

    We should make all whales radioactive and maybe the Japanese will stop eating them.

  • Morne Loubser - 2011-06-15 14:24

    Urgh you know...Jap's get away with everything!

      DTM - 2011-06-15 16:36

      mmm...good idea. maybe we can do the same with our Rhino's?

      KanaMay - 2011-07-10 16:02

      You 2 cannot tell the difference between the Japanese & Chinese, or other Asians, can you? And I've read that many of the rhino horn buyers are Vietnamese now.

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