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Japan's fishing industry is in peril

Not only were boats and equipment destroyed during the March 11 earthquake and tsunami in Japan, but the country's fishing industry is also suffering due to fears of seawater contamination due to radioactive material from the Fukushima Daiichi plant, according to the Los Angeles Times.

So far, some exporters of fish in Tokyo - specifically at the Tsukiji market - have reported price drops of as much as 50 percent. Decrease in demand may be attributed to other factors in addition to fear of radioactivity, as there has been much turmoil in the nation since the quake.

The radioactive elements most feared and most likely to be found in food following the quake are isotopes of iodine-131 and cesium-137. Iodine has been known to cause thyroid cancer through milk contamination.

"I worry the radiation might move up the food chain. At first, the smaller fish will become infected and then will get eaten by the bigger fish," Tomoyuki Kondou, a 40-year-old fisherman, told the news source.

However, according to a radiology professor at the University of Pennsylvania, Andrew Maidment, radiation in sea water will result in dilutions and are not as high a concern as many may think.

It is uncertain how much radiation has reached the sea from Fukushima.

The March 11 earthquake resulted in thousands of deaths, and tens of thousands of people are still missing. It was the largest earthquake in recent Japanese history, recording at 9.0 on the Richter scale.
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