All efforts have failed to stop very high levels of radioactive materials flowing into the Pacific ocean.
TEPCO and the Japanese authorities are running out of ‘solutions’ for the containment of the highly radioactive water that continues to accumulate at the stricken plant.
– “Dead animals litter California beaches… Alarming phenomenon” — “Graveyard of washed-up sea life” — “Influx of malnourished sea creatures” — Experts: We’re really starting to worry… The animals are starving to death… Covered in sores… Stunted growth… Weak immune systems (VIDEOS):
NBC L.A., Apr 19, 2016 (emphasis added): Officials are investigating why sick sea lions are washing up onshore… The Laguna Beach Pacific Marine Mammal Center has an overflow of sea lions… The reason for the influx of sea lions remains a disappearing cold water food source… Another unusual phenomenon they are seeing: Elephant and harbor seals are coming into the centers in addition to California sea lions, and that is not typical.
NBC L.A. transcript, Apr 19, 2016: “Now, an alarming number of sea lions are washing up along our local beaches… it is taking longer to rehabilitate these sick sea lions… Experts say [they are] taking longer to become healthier.”
Read more“Dead animals litter California beaches… Alarming phenomenon” — “Graveyard of washed-up sea life” — “Influx of malnourished sea creatures” — Experts: We’re really starting to worry… The animals are starving to death… Covered in sores… Stunted growth… Weak immune systems (VIDEOS)
H/t reader squodgy:
“Jim Stone raised the issue that the dramatic loss of fish stocks worldwide, was most probably nothing to do with Fukushima but more likely simple over-fishing of particular species.
Nevertheless, we (I mean Global Corporations with our ignorant, benign approval) have been dumping all sorts of toxic crap into our “DUSTBIN” oceans for decades for our fish stocks to consume.
Now the wheel turns, yet again!”
Poisonous chemicals dumped in the sea are coming back to haunt us in the fish we eat, interfering with a “critical defence system” of the body, according to new research.
The scientists warned that newborn babies are particularly at risk as they are exposed to high concentrations of the pollutants in breast milk and their defence mechanism is not yet fully developed.
– “Mind Blowing”: Die-off in Pacific far worse than anything ever seen before — Expert: Alarm over what’s happening in ocean — Deaths puzzling gov’t scientists, “I’ve never heard of such a thing anywhere in world” — Reports: Beaches full of bodies… Countless carcasses — Official: We want to know if it’s related to Fukushima (VIDEO):
AP, Mar 24, 2016 (emphasis added): Alaska’s massive seabird die-off spreads… Federal biologists last week walked… Katmai National Park and counted 2,000 dead seabirds… “[That’s only] a hint of what probably was there… every beach we looked at had dead birds” [US Fish & Wildlife Service’s Robb Kaler said]… “if we had rakes we would have found a lot more,” [said retired USGS biologist Tony DeGange]… [Officials surveyed the area] in 2009 and 2012 [and] counted zero and 14 common murres… Last week [they] counted hundreds.
AP, Mar 24, 2016: Seabird die-off takes twist… thousands of common murres were found dead [in an Alaskan] lake… experts were puzzled. “We’ve talked about unprecedented things about this die off. That’s another one,” said [USGS biologist] John Piatt… “6,000, 8,000 birds in the lake is pretty mind-blowing, really… I’ve never heard of any such a thing anywhere in the world.”… [F]ederal agencies are trying to determine if the murre deaths are connected to lack of food… or something else…”This is the thing about this die-off,” Piatt said. “We don’t even know what we don’t know.”
Read more“Mind Blowing”: Die-off in Pacific far worse than anything ever seen before — Expert: Alarm over what’s happening in ocean — Deaths puzzling gov’t scientists, “I’ve never heard of such a thing anywhere in world” — Reports: Beaches full of bodies… Countless carcasses — Official: We want to know if it’s related to Fukushima (VIDEO)
– 100% death rate of baby seals on California coast — “None have survived” — “Many are starving, suffering from shortage of food in Pacific Ocean” — “Extremely thin… all sorts of illnesses, infections” — “Milkless moms immediately abandoning pups” — TV: “The problem is getting worse” (VIDEOS):
KION, Mar 17, 2016 (emphasis added): Sea lion moms and pups struggling to survive… Bay Net, a volunteer group of naturalists, are keeping a watchful eye on them at the Hopkins Marine Station in Pacific Grove. They say the start of the season has been rough. “Some of them have been way too thin to have a healthy birth and have enough milk to feed it,” said Bay Net volunteer Thom Akeman. So far this season 13 pups have been born but none of them have survived. Many seals are underweight and starving, suffering from a shortage of food in the Pacific Ocean… “When they get extremely thin they’re open to all sorts of illnesses and infections,” said [volunteer Marg] Brigadier … The group Harbor Seals of Pacific Grove has been documenting the unusually high rate of dying pups on Facebook.
– L.A. Times: “Ongoing fish famine” along US West Coast — “Dearth of food across ocean” — Severe fishery implosion — Supply has been low since 2011 — Gov’t Expert: “Looks very grim… It is hard to watch”:
L.A. Times, Feb 25, 2016 (emphasis added): Fewer sea lions have been stranded this year, but that’s a bad sign, scientists say… it’s a sign that the sea lion population is dwindling rather than recovering. An ongoing fish famine is preventing mothers from producing enough milk, resulting in smaller and less hardy pups. As of Monday, there had been 375 sea lion strandings so far in 2016… about 160 sea lions are found stranded during the first two months of a typical year… [L]ess available prey are hurting newly born sea lions the most, potentially slowing down the species’ population growth, scientists say. “It’s going to decline,” said Sharon Melin, wildlife biologist at the NOAA Alaska Fisheries Science Center… During NOAA’s survey of the sea lion breeding grounds, Melin said, researchers saw more dead pups than usual. The increased mortality could cause fewer pups to become stranded because they’re dying before they can leave the islands, she said. The exact number of dead pups is not known… The pups… should have gained about 20 pounds in the last six months, Melin said, but they haven’t grown at all. “It still looks very grim this year,” Melin said…
– Officials: Historic crisis affecting US West Coast… We’re facing a fisheries disaster… Very never-seen-before things… Should be exclamation alarm to public — Threat of extinction of salmon runs; Loss of sardines, squid, sea urchins, kelp; Massive sea star deaths; Marine mammal strandings… more:
Press Democrat, Feb 11, 2016 (emphasis added): Scientists and lawmakers foresee grim outlook for California’s ocean fisheries… the outlook is overwhelmingly grim, presenters said at an annual forum of the joint legislative Committee on Fisheries and Aquaculture. “Something’s going on in the ocean, and it’s not right, and it doesn’t fit our historical understandings,” California Fish and Wildlife Director Chuck Bonham told members of the committe… Bonham noted stretches of coastline suddenly barren of sea urchins… [N]umerous anomalies… are growing increasingly apparent, Bonham said. “This should be an… alarm to the general public”… Bonham said… [S]everal witnesses Thursday forecast what most in the industry already have anticipated: a collapse, or near collapse, of key salmon runs in the state… “I cannot say this more bluntly,” [State Senator Mike McGuire] said. “We are facing a fishery disaster here in California”… U.S. Department of Commerce [is] considering a request by Gov. Jerry Brown to declare a fishery disaster…
Read moreOfficials: Historic crisis affecting US West Coast… We’re facing a fisheries disaster… Very never-seen-before things… Should be exclamation alarm to public — Threat of extinction of salmon runs; Loss of sardines, squid, sea urchins, kelp; Massive sea star deaths; Marine mammal strandings… more
– TV: “Worst wildlife die-off ever recorded” anywhere on Earth underway on West Coast — Expert: “And we’re not just talking marine die-offs… yeah, it’s a really big deal” — “There are many more species that are getting sick” — “Facing possibility of extinction” — Scientist: “Is it some sort of a toxin that’s there?” (VIDEO):
CBC News, Jan 22, 2016: Sea star wasting disease among worst wildlife die-offs say scientists; The mysterious wasting disease is still killing sea stars from Mexico to Alaska — The sea star wasting disease [is] hitting a bigger range of species over a larger area than originally thought. Scientists investigating the disease in the U.S. and Canada met in Seattle [and] agreed on the scale of the problem, said Dr. Martin Haulena, the veterinarian for the Vancouver Aquarium… “This is, if not the, certainly one of the biggest wildlife die-offs that have ever been recorded, and we’re not just talking marine die-offs.”… [It] has decimated the creatures from Alaska to Mexico… losing their limbs and turning to mush… “Recovery is not happening the way it should be, so I think it is still really bad.”… “It could be a disease that’s been in the system a long time, and something sparked an outbreak recently.”… Any die-off of this magnitude is a major concern, said [the experts]… And there are many more species… that are getting sick, said Haulena, as well as possible signs of disease in sea urchins and sea cucumbers… “to put it in context — yeah, it’s a really big deal.”
KING 5 News, Jan 20, 2016: Biologists are calling the mass death of west coast sea stars the worst wildlife die-off ever recorded… [Scientists are] calling it the largest wildlife die-off ever recorded… The virus causes the sea star reproductive system to swell. They believe environmental factors are aggravating the issue… Experts are also discussing whether it’s time to list the species as endangered… “They’ve gone from being one of the most common species in the Puget Sound to 2-3 years later, being incredibly hard to find,” Lesanna Lahner said… Now, experts are talking about whether sea stars should be listed as endangered.
Read moreScientists: “Worst wildlife die-off ever recorded” anywhere on Earth underway on West Coast — Expert: “And we’re not just talking marine die-offs… yeah, it’s a really big deal” — “There are many more species that are getting sick” — “Facing possibility of extinction”
Many people point their fingers at climate change, underwater weapons testing, ocean quakes and biodiversity, as reasons behind the collapse of the marine ecosystem. While there’s something to be said for these issues as contributing factors in the decline of marine life, the fact remains that the ongoing after-effects of Fukushima’s radiation plays a significant role too.
Consider this: in 2006 – years before the nuclear disaster in Japan – a paper was published in the journal Science, which warned of the fate of marine life. Lead author Boris Worm, assistant professor of marine conservation biology at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada, noted that “… all fish and seafood species are projected to collapse within my lifetime — by 2048.” An abstract of that paper, entitled, Impact of Biodiversity Loss on Ocean Ecosystem Services, states that, “We conclude that marine biodiversity loss is increasingly impairing the ocean’s capacity to provide food, maintain water quality, and recover from perturbations.”(1,2)
– Sickened animals “unlike anything doctors have ever seen” on West Coast — “They’re eating themselves from the inside” — Cancers… liver, pancreas, intestines shut down… infested with parasites and immune to antibiotics — Unprecedented catastrophe to cause loss of 200,000 sea lions (VIDEO):
Al Jazeera, Jan 6, 2016 (emphasis added): In warming ocean, record number of seals and sea lions sicken and starve — Ailing or dead seals and sea lions washed up on California beaches in record numbers in 2015; this year could be worse… They are brought in with all sorts of problems: lockjaw, poisoning, cancer… But most of the record number of seals and sea lions washing up on California’s shores and being brought to a regional rescue center are starving… this slow-motion catastrophe is likely to continue… In 2015, [NOAA] counted more than 4,200 California sea lions, 90 Guadalupe fur seals, and 70 northern fur seals. The [Marine Mammal Center’s] staff began to realize something was different early in the year… the pups brought in for rescue were unlike anything the veterinarians had ever seen… It was the worst year in the center’s 40-year history, staff said… Only half the usual number of sea lion pups were born off the California coast in 2015, [Dr. Shawn Johnson, director of veterinary science at the Marine Mammal Center] said… veterinarians at the Marine Mammal Center are bracing for the worst.
Read moreSickened animals “unlike anything doctors have ever seen” on West Coast — “They’re eating themselves from the inside” — Cancers… liver, pancreas, intestines shut down… infested with parasites and immune to antibiotics — Unprecedented catastrophe to cause loss of 200,000 sea lions
Humpback whales usually arrive in the waters off Hawaii in December. But not this year. Why?
In a few months, a giant floating dam—in the form of a 328-feet (100 meters) long barrier segment—will be set up in the North Sea, some miles off the coast of The Netherlands. Its ambition: to cleanse the world’s oceans of plastic trash forever.
Plastic waste is a major threat to animals in the sea, who either choke on the material or suffer from related contaminants. But most ocean waste projects try to collect plastic waste with boats that end up inadvertently endangering ocean life. The revolutionary new dam, scheduled for deployment in the second quarter of 2016, will instead use currents to round up waves of garbage—bags, bottles, and other waste—while also letting sea creatures through. Passive, safe collection is the idea.
Fukushima radiation just off the North American coast is higher now than it has ever been, and government scientists and mainstream press are scrambling to cover-up and downplay the ever-increasing deadly threat that looms for millions of Americans.
Following the March 2011 meltdown at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, reactors have sprayed immeasurable amounts of radioactive material into the air, most of which settled into the Pacific Ocean. A study by the American Geophysical Union has found that radiation levels from Alaska to California have increased and continue to increase since they were last taken.
The highest levels yet of radiation from the disaster were found in a sample taken 2,500 kilometers (approx. 1,550 miles) west of San Francisco.
“Safe” according to whom?
Lead researcher Ken Buesseler of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution was one of the first people to begin monitoring Fukushima radiation in the Pacific Ocean, with his first samples taken three months after the disaster started. In 2014, he launched a citizen monitoring effort – Our Radioactive Ocean – to help collect more data on ocean-borne radioactivity.
The researchers track Fukushima radiation by focusing on the isotope Cesium-134, which has a half-life of only two years. All Cesium-134 in the ocean likely comes from the Fukushima disaster. In contrast, Cesium-137 – also released in huge quantities from Fukushima – has a half-life of 30 years, and persists in the ocean, not just from Fukushima, but also from nuclear tests conducted as far back as the 1950s.
The most recent study added 110 new Cesium-134 samples to the ongoing studies. These samples were an average of 11 Becquerels per cubic meter of sea water, a level 50 percent higher than other samples taken so far.
Instead of presenting the findings as an alarming sign of growing radiation, however, Buesseler emphasizes that the Cesium-134 levels detected are still 500 times lower than the drinking water limits set by the U.S. government. The news site The Big Wobble questions whether Buesseler and Woods Hole’s heavy financial reliance on the U.S. government – Woods Hole has received nearly $8 million in research funding from several government agencies – plays any role in this emphasis.
Situation still worsening
The reality, however, is that radiation along the West Coast is expected to keep getting worse. According to a 2013 study by the Nansen Environmental and Remote Sensing Center in Norway, the oceanic radiation plume released by Fukushima is likely to hit the North American West Coast in force in 2017, with levels peaking in 2018. Most of the radioactive material from the disaster is likely to stay concentrated on the western coast through at least 2026.
According to professor Michio Aoyama of Japan’s Fukushima University Institute of Environmental Radioactivity, the amount of radiation from Fukushima that has now reached North America is probably nearly as much as was spread over Japan during the initial disaster.
The recent Woods Hole study also confirmed that radioactive material is still leaking into the Pacific Ocean from the crippled Fukushima plant. Cesium-134 levels off the Japanese coast are between 10 and 100 times higher than those detected off the coast of California.
Without directly challenging the U.S. government’s “safe” radiation limits, Buesseler obliquely references the fact that any radioactive contamination of the ocean is cause for concern.
“Despite the fact that the levels of contamination off our shores remain well below government-established safety limits for human health or to marine life,” he said, “the changing values underscore the need to more closely monitor contamination levels across the Pacific.”
– Journalist: “Nobody even talks about Fukushima anymore… there’s almost no more fish… the ocean is dying, it’s terrifying” — Gov’t warns public to expect alarming increase in deaths on West Coast — “Fish… are just too hard to find” — “Chaos below the surface” — Official: “We are preparing for worst” (VIDEO)
Higher numbers of ocean sites along the US West Coast are showing signs of radiation contamination from Fukushima nuclear accident, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) reports. However, the measured radioactivity levels still remain well below the US government safety limits for drinking water and direct exposure.
According to scientists responsible for monitoring the spread of Fukushima nuclear radiation, the number of sites reporting the contamination along the US West Coast is on the rise.
– TV: “Researchers say massive decline of fish is throwing off ecosystem” along California coast — Expert: “Population has truly collapsed”… They’re gone virtually everywhere — Whale numbers dropping significantly, squid disappearing, other major die-offs seen (VIDEO):
Monterey Herald, Nov 3, 2015 (emphasis added): Local whale watching tour companies and conservationists claim the anchovy population has “collapsed” due to environmental reasons… Fishing groups disagree, though they note the bay has seen some dramatic environmental changes.
Santa Cruz Sentinel, Oct 30, 2015: Monterey Bay anchovy numbers in decline, groups say… “Since late September, the whale numbers have decreased, their behavior has changed and their food, anchovies, are less abundant,” said Nancy Black, marine biologist… Whale watching tour companies and conservationists claim the anchovy population has “collapsed” due to environmental reasons… The fishing industry says that’s not the case though ocean conditions have been unusual. Some scientists, however, are finding a drastic decline in the forage fish… [Pacific Fishery Management Council staff officer Mike Burner said,] “The council’s definitely concerned with some of the things they’ve heard.”… “The population has truly collapsed,” [said] William Sydeman, president and senior scientist at the Farallon Institute. “There’s no way fishing could have that kind of impact, so it had to be environmental.”… plankton populations are low, affecting their predators up the marine food chain… “When anchovy numbers are low, they crowd at the coast and appear to be abundant,” Sydeman said… At the same time, the lack of anchovies offshore are maybe in part why scores of sea lions and sea birds… are starving up and down the coast. “Right now we’re seeing that the whales are more scattered and seem to be looking harder for food,” said Dorris Welch, marine biologist…
Read moreTV: “Researchers say massive decline of fish is throwing off ecosystem” along California coast — Expert: “Population has truly collapsed”… They’re gone virtually everywhere — Whale numbers dropping significantly, squid disappearing, other major die-offs seen (VIDEO)
– Fukushima nuclear waste now being found off all U.S. states on West Coast — Detected near shorelines of California, Oregon, Washington, and Alaska this summer — Highest radiation just miles from San Francisco (MAP):
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution: In the aftermath of the 2011 tsunami off Japan, the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant released cesium-134 and other radioactive elements into the ocean at unprecedented levels. Since then, the radioactive plume has traveled west across the Pacific… any cesium-134 detected in the ocean today must have come from Fukushima… We expect samples from the surface waters of the western Pacific that have not been contaminated by the Fukushima source to have 137Cs activity of between 1 and 2 Bq/m3 and for 134Cs to be “below detection.”
Read moreFukushima nuclear waste now being found off all U.S. states on West Coast — Detected near shorelines of California, Oregon, Washington, and Alaska this summer — Highest radiation just miles from San Francisco (MAP)
– “Countless” dead birds reported in Pacific off US coast, nothing will eat the bodies — “There are no seals present” — Expert: “The fish are not there… all of them are starving” — Animals “acting weird, sick and weak, too weak to fly, too weak to run” — Resident: We want to know if it’s from Fukushima (VIDEO)
– Skyrocketing deaths on West Coast — Experts: “Extreme Mortality Event… dying in such high numbers… such great numbers… very concerned” — “It’s so mysterious… What is going on here?!” — “Possibilities like fallout from Fukushima” — Only 2 full necropsies on 700 deaths (VIDEOS) (ENENews, Sep 2, 2015):
VOA transcript, Sep 1, 2015 (emphasis added): Sharp Rise in Whale Deaths Being Investigated — “Since May, 30 dead whales have washed ashore on the Gulf of Alaska. (Deborah Fauquier, NOAA): ‘And the average for the whole year generally is 8, so it’s definitely significantly elevated and for us that was a reason for concern.’ The Extreme Mortality Event, as scientists are calling it, has triggered an investigation.”
Read moreSkyrocketing deaths on West Coast — Experts: “Extreme Mortality Event… dying in such high numbers… such great numbers… very concerned” — “It’s so mysterious… What is going on here?!” — “Possibilities like fallout from Fukushima” — Only 2 full necropsies on 700 deaths (VIDEOS)
– 30 large whales found dead along the coast of Alaska, a cause remains unknown (The Watchers, Aug 22, 2015):
30 dead large whales have been found since May 2015, along the Western Gulf of Alaska and southern shoreline of the Alaska Peninsula. Simultaneous increase in the number of large whale strandings in British Columbia, Canada, got the scientists on both ends to start an active investigation. The “Unusual Mortality Event” (UME) for large whales has been declared for the first time on Alaska.
An unusually high number of large whale deaths has been reported across the Western Gulf of Alaska, in the regions around Kodiak Island, Afognak Island, Chirikof Island and the Semidi Islands, and along the southern shoreline of the Alaska Peninsula. 11 fin whales, 14 humpback whales, one gray whale and four unidentified whale species have been found dead in the Western Gulf of Alaska.
Video credit: CBC News
The first whale death was reported in Marmot Bay on Kodiak Island, on May 23, 2015 and large whale strandings have continued since. This series of large whale deaths have been declared as an “Unusual Mortality Event” (UME), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reported.
– ‘Unbelievable!’: Scientists stunned as 3 rare giant oarfish found dead off Los Angeles in recent weeks — Flesh falling apart while still alive, body parts missing — Biologist: “Of course I’m very concerned… for some reason they’re dying… it’s very strange” — Being tested for toxins (VIDEO) (ENENews, Aug 20, 2015):
Los Angeles Times, Aug 17, 2015 (emphasis added): Biggest oarfish seen at Catalina Island in years washes ashore… marking a rare sighting of the deep-sea creature… [It] was 24 feet long when it was alive, said Annie MacAulay, a marine biologist… its tail [was] severed off — which oarfish have been known to do to shed weight and save energy, she said… The one found Monday had an empty pocket in its stomach, which MacAulay said could mean it recently stopped eating, a potential sign of distress or sickness… a handful of oarfish [have] washed up on California’s coasts in recent years.
New York Daily News, Aug 17, 2015: Stunned scientists fished for clues Monday to explain the origin of the giant oarfish that washed up on the shores of Catalina — the third massive marine oarfish found on the island in two years’ time [see articles below for additional finds]… The sleek silver fish was missing its pectoral fins and tail… perplexed researchers are looking for a reason why. Dr. Misty Paig-Tran from California State University Fullerton collected tissue samples… to determine whether it had any toxins in its system. But questions still remain as to why these fish are dying… The conservationist also speculated that water pollution could be to blame.
Alaska Dispatch News, Aug 13, 2015 (emphasis added): Warm water killing fish in Mat-Su and Anchorage… killing salmon in the Matanuska and Susitna valleys… Arctic char… have also gone belly up… “It will have some impact but in the long term for species that return multiple age classes, I wouldn’t characterize it as a disaster,” said Mike Bethe, Mat-Su area manager for the Habitat Division of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game… dead salmon have been found near the [Knik River’s] weir… Dead fish have been turning up in other Mat-Su streams…
– Epidemic of sea mammal deaths explodes as Fukushima radiation contaminates one-third of the earth (Natural News, Aug 19, 2015):
Dead and dying sea mammals continue to wash ashore at unusual and alarming rates along the California coast. Scientists are stumped, suggesting that the cause may be food shortages caused by abnormally warm waters – but unsure of what has caused the ocean off the California coast to warm so rapidly.
Meanwhile, the radioactive plume released into the Pacific Ocean following the Fukushima nuclear disaster draws ever closer to North America’s western coast. At the same time, radioactive material is still pouring into the sea from the Fukushima site. Could the ongoing radioactive poisoning of the Pacific and the dying of its marine mammals be related?