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Fukushima Radiation No Threat in Bluefin Tuna

HOST: A few bluefin tuna caught off the California coast have tested positive for radiation from the Fukushima nuclear disaster. KQED’s Lauren Sommer reports the levels aren’t dangerous, but the study tells a little about the bluefin's lifecycle.
 
LAUREN SOMMER: The extra radioactivity the tuna picked up off the coast of Japan is less than the amount found naturally in fruits and vegetables.
 
DANIEL MADIGAN: There’s more radioactive potassium in a banana per pound than we found in the fish.
 
SOMMER: Stanford University graduate student Daniel Madigan is the study's author. He says the low levels are well within safety limits. The study shows the tuna traveled thousands of miles before being caught off San Diego last year. Madigan says knowing where the tuna have been can help biologists understand the health of a population that makes up a valuable international fishery.
 
MADIGAN:  If you want to manage it well, you need to know what’s going on, how these animals move back and forth across the Pacific Ocean.
 
SOMMER: Madigan says they’ll be testing more bluefin tuna for radiation this summer. They may also test other migrating species, like birds and sharks.
 
I’m Lauren Sommer, KQED News.
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