More results from InFORM’s 2016 biotic monitoring results are now available and reveal that Fukushima contamination was not detected in sampled BC salmon after initial testing. These results are an update to the earlier report on the first 20 of the 123 fish donated by First Nations from 10 rivers in British Columbia and Yukon in 2016. Nine fish did have individual levels of 137Cs detected near the minimum detectable concentration (MDC). These levels (<0.7 Bq kg-1) are not known to present a significant health risk and are ~1,400x lower than the national and international action level (1000 Bq kg-1). For perspective, you would need to consume 1000-1500 kg of salmon at this concentration of cesium to receive the same radiation dose acquired during a single cross country flight. There has not been a significant increase to the total 137Cs concentration in BC salmon since InFORM monitoring began in 2014.
Results from the shellfish meat and first 20 salmon samples collected in 2016 reveal an absence of Fukushima radiation. Shellfish from four species were collected from many of British Columbia’s major shellfish aquaculture regions from Prince Rupert to the Sunshine Coast and Vancouver Island. These results are from just the meat of the shellfish and additional analysis of the crushed shell is currently ongoing. The four types of molluscs (Pacific Scallop (Patinopecten yessoensis), Pacific Oyster (Crassostrea gigas), Northern Blue Mussel (Mytilus edulis and a hybrid with M. galloprovincalis), and Manila Clam (Venerupis philippinarum)) were chosen for analysis because previous work in other tropical species has shown that bivalves bioaccumulate cesium at rates faster than many other organisms. This work on tropical species did find that much of the cesium contamination was located in the shell so we await the results of the ongoing shell analyses. The absence of contamination in the edible meat from any of the species is reassurance to the $25 million aquaculture industry of BC that their product is safe to send to market and safe for human consumption. Continue reading Results from 2016 InFORM Biotic Monitoring – Shellfish and Vancouver Island Salmon