By Kim Tae-gyu
People may have to worry about eating squid this autumn since those caught in the East Sea (Sea of Japan) may have spawned and swum by shores near the crippled nuclear power station in Fukushima.
The National Fisheries Research and Development Institute (NFRDI) said Monday that various nuclear materials found in seas off north-eastern Japan will not affect Korea.
Yet, the state-run instituted raised the possibility that squid presently south of Kyushu will move to the East Sea this September after swimming by Fukushima in summer.
``Squid south of Kyushu will move north in groups this August or September off the west coast of Japan. When they move back south from September to November, some of them might take the Tsugaru Strait and come to the East Sea,’’ said an NFRDI official who asked not to be named.
``We don’t know how many squid will take the strait but the chances are that they may not be contaminated with radiation because they are slated to pass by Fukushima in a few months, and the decay of radioactive materials takes place relatively quickly in the sea.’’
The Tsugaru Strait is a channel between Honshu and Hokkaido in northern Japan. It connects the East Sea with the Pacific Ocean.
The official said the NFRDI will strengthen radioactivity detection tests of Korean fisheries products as well as Japanese imports.
Experts also warned against any complacency.
``Currently, the radioactive substances in Japan’s north-eastern coast are airborne, and hence, the amount is not that much. Should Japan be able to contain the amount, we will not have to worry,’’ professor Lee Un-chul at Seoul National University said.
``However, if there are more radioactive accidents or especially if a leak of liquid materials occurs, we will not have the luxury to feel safe.’’