Newspaper: Unprecedented declines in Alaska king salmon… related to impact from Fukushima? No comment, says NOAA biologist — Record low numbers seen in major fishery on Canada’s west coast, “alarming decrease”

Published: December 29th, 2013 at 6:29 pm ET
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Juneau Empire, Dec. 29, 2013: [...] the king [chinook] salmon — has fallen from its throne. [...] Alaska has seen unprecedented declines in recent years [...] scientists like Joe Orsi and Jim Murphy, both fisheries research biologists with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, are digging deeper into [...] the cause of the startling downward trend. [...] When asked about the potential impact Fukushima may be having on king salmon stocks in the Gulf of Alaska and elsewhere in the state, Orsi would not comment. “I’ve been told to refer you to the (Environmental Protection Agency),” he said, “Because I’m not an expert on the topic.” Calls and emails to the EPA were not returned in time and digging on the federal agency’s site revealed no current information on radiation from the Fukushima disaster. The last posted monitoring results occurred in June of 2011.

Surface water distribution of Fukushima 137Cs in 2012 (Aoyama et al., 2013; G. Hong, pers. comm.)

Bellingham Herald, Dec. 5, 2013: “[...] we see from test fisheries that the Chinook numbers returning to the Fraser River system were at a record low,” explained Ken Balcomb, executive director and principal investigator for The Center for Research and a science advisor to the whale watch association. [...] [An] alarming decrease of an important identified food resource [...]

Islander Sound, Dec. 25, 2013: [A] dismal return of Chinook salmon to the Fraser River.

Salmon Fishing in British Columbia, Canada: There are two major salmon runs of Chinook that are targeted by anglers; the Fraser river [and] Harrison River.

December 2013: Previously unpublished map from gov't scientists shows Fukushima plume already at Alaska coast (PHOTO)

November 2013: CBC Headline: Radiation from Fukushima arrives on Alaska coast -- University scientists concerned -- "Is the food supply safe?... I don't think anyone can really answer that"

September 2013: US Gov't: Alaska island "appears to show impacts from Fukushima" -- "Significant cesium isotope signature" detected -- Scientists anticipate more marine life to be impacted as ocean plume arrives (VIDEO)

Published: December 29th, 2013 at 6:29 pm ET
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64 comments to Newspaper: Unprecedented declines in Alaska king salmon… related to impact from Fukushima? No comment, says NOAA biologist — Record low numbers seen in major fishery on Canada’s west coast, “alarming decrease”

  • davidh7426 davidh7426

    So it's gone from total denial… to total bafflement… to "No comment".

    It's appears to me that the gov. scientists are getting tired of lying about this, and so are starting to pass the buck up the chain of command.

    Report comment

    • I went for "find the evidence" and its clearly from Fuku in Alaska.

      CS134 /CS137 Ratio and Food Chain in Alaska – Dangerous Levels of Radioactivity
      Lichens in Alaska were tested in June 2011 and had extremely high levels of both Cesium 134 and Cesium 137. Around 6000 to 8000 pCi/ kg.

      And the ratio of 134 to 137 was around .8. What that means is that all of this cesium is directly attributed to Fukushima.

      Here is how it works. CS137 has a half life of 30 years, CS134 has half life of 2 years. So if the radiation was from 4 years ago, the CS would fall to around 25% of where it started.

      It just so happens that the 137 and 134 quantities are about a 1 to 1 ratio at the beginning, with some variance based on the degree of fuel burnup. Color chart below shows actual test results for Fuku. The ratio was about .85.

      The actual ratio measured in the lichens was right around .80 on average. So all of this is due to Fukushima

      Got it? The lowest level of the food chain is highly contaminated. That was 2011, they are not planning on testing again until 2016. Does that make any sense?

      Full report and selected tables and graphs here for your easy consumption

      Report comment

  • Socrates

    When you have a tiger by the tail, you can't let go.

    Report comment

  • Nick

    Bristol Bay fishing for salmon tops 1.5 B $ in value (2010)

    When the runs dwindle, so will the jobs.

    Not good.

    Report comment

  • name999 name999

    pathetic…like the guy that tested 4 fish in WA state to determine radioactivity on the coast…

    Report comment

    • unincredulous unincredulous

      I counted 4 huge Tepco lies, and determined they were liars. Fair enough?
      I counted 4 crooked politicians and determined they were all crooks. Fair enough?
      I counted 4 species decimated and concluded that we are experienceing an ELE. Fair enough.
      I counted 4 paychecks and determined that I was set for life. Fair enough.
      I gained 1/2 a pound one day. a pound the next day, then 2 pounds the day after that, and 4 pounds the next day. At that rate I determined that next year, I will sell my body fat to the oil industry and nuclear power would be obsolete.

      Report comment

  • Mack Mack

    Good grief…

    The researcher (Jim Murphy, NOAA) is theorizing that the reason for less salmon is a Vitamin B1, thiamine, deficiency.

    And researcher Joe Orsi of NOAA was told to refer questions on Fukushima radiation to the EPA.

    Report comment

  • obewanspeaks obewanspeaks

    Yes, much grief! To think these people were probably highly educated to boot.. :(

    Wonder how many vitamin bottles they will dump over board out there? Maybe dump food overboard?

    #9…gee, maybe everything is dead and there is no fish to eat…

    Report comment

  • shamwow shamwow

    This is just so sad.

    By not reporting the truth the facts are supposed to disappear? I used to live in Vancouver, B.C. And know how important the salmon catch is. Looks to be over now.

    What will happen to all the fisheries in the Pacific? Any reports from Phillipines or other island nations? Starvation could start setting in much sooner then we think.

    Report comment

    • We Not They Finally

      It's astounding how many populations live on coastlines. Very unlikely they will stop eating so long as there is ANY food. The it will make them sick Then there will be less and less of it.

      Not much was being done about world hunger ANYWAY. This will be terrible.

      Report comment

  • obewanspeaks obewanspeaks

    World depopulation is right on schedule… :)

    Report comment

  • PeterC

    I'm just saying…

    Each of these scientists, could be one of us. Could be a father, mother. With kids, mortgage, bills… maybe living cheque to cheque?…

    The employer says "follow the rules – or be replaced"…

    I would do the same.

    Report comment

    • shamwow shamwow

      So why have them in the first place if they will not speak truth to the matter?

      Report comment

    • We Not They Finally

      PeterC, you might but some people just wouldn't. There is such a thing as conscience.

      Report comment

      • Refer to the 'experts' who do and say nothing.

        Orsi would not comment. “I’ve BEEN TOLD to refer you to the (Environmental Protection Agency),” he said, “Because I’m not an expert on the topic.”

        "Calls and emails to the EPA were not returned…"
        I wonder why?

        A 'pass the buck' strategy that has worked for 60 years, especially the last 3, and one that will continue… no matter what.

        Report comment

    • obewanspeaks obewanspeaks

      Peter, you are very wise and exactly how they created the box to/that enslaves us all… :)

      Report comment

    • Cataclysmic Cataclysmic

      I would disagree Peter, they could not be one of us, or they would be sharing with us. There are a few here that give us information that they could loose there job over, and yet, they do it anyway, as it is the right thing to do. So… from my perspective, this silence of scientists and technicians can be likened to a doctor that knowingly prescribes a treatment that could kill his patient, but in order to keep his job, he fails to advise his patient of the dangers and gives him the treatment/drug/whatever that he ultimately dies from.
      No. I will not go lightly on these "scientists" they are in a position of trust, and yet, they can not be trusted. There silence is responsible for people getting sick and dying, and our very species is in danger.
      Ask yourself, does a supposedly intelligent species that refuses to act to save itself even deserve to exist? These people have a very good idea of what is going on, and as they are our experts, many paid for educations with our tax dollars, they should f-ing tell us what their educated brains think!!! They owe it to US! ..and themselves.

      Report comment

  • TheBigPicture TheBigPicture


    Sea life die-offs, dead birds, and sick pets.

    Report comment

  • isogoodhumans

    Bumper return of 26 million pink salmon-looks like one of the top biggest runs in the last 100 years

    Incidentally, there is still a lot of sea life in tidal pools around Vancouver, Vancouver Island

    -from my deck I regularly see 1-3 bald eagles hunting the north shore of Vancouver for food
    -family visited from Europe in August and in the Burrard Inlet of Vancouver we saw seals, otters, jellyfish
    -on Vancouver Island my son and daughter engaged in their annual ritual of chasing crabs down the beach-no shortage there
    -lots of live sand dollars as well

    The end of the oceans isn't something I wish for and I hope mankind feels its been pushed into the proverbial corner soon so we can deal with these issues.

    Report comment

  • Ontological Ontological

    I pity anyone highly tenured with too much to loose over this nightmare. No comment is all they can offer regardless of their personal theory. There is one truth in all of this however. The number of sides to a story, is directly proportional to the number of people involved.

    Report comment

  • We Not They Finally

    NOAA was outlandishly NON-responsive during the BP disaster in the Gulf as well. Jane something, Lubenko, I think. One of the federal appointments from hell. They could not give a crap less whether people live or die.

    Report comment

  • American Phoenix57

    There are other things killing the salmon.

    "Salmon Confidential is a new film on the government cover up of what is killing BC’s wild salmon. When biologist Alexandra Morton discovers BC’s wild salmon are testing positive for dangerous European salmon viruses associated with salmon farming worldwide, a chain of events is set off by government to suppress the findings. Tracking viruses, Morton moves from courtrooms, into British Columbia’s most remote rivers, Vancouver grocery stores and sushi restaurants.

    The film documents Morton’s journey as she attempts to overcome government and industry roadblocks thrown in her path and works to bring critical information to the public in time to save BC’s wild salmon. The film provides surprising insight into the inner workings of government agencies, as well as rare footage of the bureaucrats tasked with managing our fish and the safety of our food supply.

    Report comment

  • charlie3

    yes, in the age of no privacy, the game works two ways – rude and hostile bureaucrats now can be seen on video showing their personalities. That's a good thing.

    Report comment

  • name999 name999

    jump-ball and hbjon, oh how that tuna and salmon sound good to me now!!!

    Report comment

  • name999 name999

    with Gina McCarthy, Peter C, and the theory of The Big Picture who states succinctly, "too much to lose now". As I asked another poster, what do the best and the brightest do now ? Anonymously post on Enenews?

    Jane Lubchenco (sp) was from Oregon I think, and I had hoped she would be more outspoken.

    The muzzling, the gag order, the NSA, someone is silencing people, and few have the ability to confront that power…lost jobs, blacklisting, maybe worse…

    why are folks so quiet now? Enenews keeps on and I thank everyone for that…

    Report comment

  • Sickputer

    SP: The mass extinction event for salmon is in full swing…Alaska is 2000 miles closer to the Japan releases than Los Angeles and 1500 miles closer than Vancouver. Closer to the epicenter of the nuclear "bombs" erupting daily at Fukushima.

    Alaskan news November 2013:

    "For the second year in a row, the king salmon return to the Kenai River was later than usual and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, or ADFG, didn’t count enough kings to meet the goal until August after all sport had been closed.

    “We’re not sure what is causing the downturn, and in many cases, we do not have the basic information needed to understand the causes,” said ADFG’s Bob Clark, summarizing some of the symposium’s findings.

    …river systems around the state that have very little fishing pressure and few habitat concerns have also seen crashes in king salmon runs."

    "On the Ayakulik, which usually has the strongest king run on the island, the total weir count at the end of the season was 2,368 fish, less than half the 2012 count, and slightly lower than the 2009 count, the prior low year for the past decade. The high for the past decade was 24,742 kings, in 2004, according to ADFG data"

    Report comment

    • Sickputer

      The stakes are high for the safety of the public and commercial sale of popular foods when a toxic agent is mentioned.

      Wondering if China will speak up about the truth? Probably not:

      "China is the largest seafood producer in the world, by a wide margin. According to the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) China produces 58 million metric tons (MMT) of seafood, or 36 percent of the world's total seafood production…29 times more than Alaska.

      Most of that volume goes to feed the 1.3 billion people who live in China, but as many in the seafood industry know, China is a major seafood re-processor for imported seafood as well…"

      SP: Import tariffs in China are very high for imported fish used for consumption, but in China "as long as companies are processing this imported seafood for re-export, there are no tariffs."

      Conclusion: China is unlikely to impose a ban on North American salmon imports for health reasons since they don't eat the stuff. The North American shellfish ban was an exception because they do consume that product.

      Report comment

  • pkjn

    December 26, 2013 Save Kids Japan

    Dear citizens of the world, especially those from Asia, please get angry at Prime Minister Abe!
    In August 2013, even after 44 Fukushima children found to have thyroid cancer, Prime Minister Abe said, "There have never been and will never be any health hazards caused by Fukushima." (Now 59)
    Prime Minister Abe is a person who do not hesitate to lie.

    Even after Fukushima accident, Prime Minister Abe, who has been totally ignoring the increased thyroid cancer among Fukushima kids, is trying to restart nuclear power all over Japan where the active seismic era has been underway.
    If this regime continues, it will not be a surprise if another Fukushima-like accident took place, which could become a lethal weapon both to Japan and to the world.

    Though the Japanese policies are totally nonsense, backed by the mass media and so on, true voices of the conscious citizens' have been totally suppressed.
    Citizens of the world, please do raise voices against Prime Minister Abe before it becomes too late.
    Please do not let Japan become the perpetrator to the world once again.

    Report comment

  • obewanspeaks obewanspeaks

    The entire world is now in the slow process of dying/extermination.. :(

    These kids are just some of the symptoms…

    Report comment

  • If they work for the government or any business dependent upon same, expect lies and obsfucation.

    Fukushima researcher since 3-11-11

    Report comment

  • pinksailmatt pinksailmatt

    I was in Sacremento, Calif for a visit this last year and the American River is nearby. I was told that this year, the river had the largest run of salmon seen in the past 60 years.

    I was quite amazed by this. Spawning frenzy before the big colapse?

    Report comment

  • Cooter cooterboy

    King salmon are the apex predators of this family. Next are coho, (silver salmon). They roam all the way to Japan and the entire north Pacific ocean. Pinks on the other had do not roam that far.

    A king can weigh up to 65 lbs. and a pink maxes out at 7 lbs. To say the salmon runs are healthy is not true. King's return after 2 years of ocean travel to the mouth's of the rivers, streams and are called Jack's, averaging about 8-12 lbs and then return to the ocean for another 2 yrs, again to return to spawn.

    This reduction of spawning Chinook means there food source is diminished. Herring populations along the west coast are gone and would suspect deep ocean populations are down and now the apex hunters are dying. Populations of krill,zooplankton, small fish, are the key to this mess. Investigate!!!

    These highly skilled, college educated, government employees are bunch of wing nuts. Pay check to pay check lackies. They have a boat, so why not get in the dang thing and go and look. That's what we pay them to do. But that means work and it is less work to stand on the bank of the Kenai River and BS the day away.

    Stop relying on the government for answers! Stop relying on gov. EXPERTS to give you the straight skivvy. They cannot and will not do this. Independent research is required.

    Point is; When apex predator populations diminish then there is something very, very wrong with their environment. Humans are the ultimate apex predators. Who is next.

    Report comment

  • tsfw tsfw

    Oregon exempt from starfish wasting disease…so far…

    Ocean currents maybe a factor?

    PS: I still want to know why China has banned shellfish only from the U.S when the area of concern ranges from Alaska to Cali. Whether or not they pin it on disease or radiation or radiation related immune depression, it makes no sense. Any thoughts? Seems to me like they're taking advantage of a situation for other motives. I am not downplaying the effects of Fukushima, I just think something is missing here.

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  • It may be starting to look like there is a pattern forming. Those areas closest to Fuku, got hit the hardest and have the most? reduction in salmon populations.

    Are salmon eggs and young fish affected like birds and other newborns by Iodine radiation?

    Any thoughts? Anyone doing research on this?

    It would show up in fish hatcheries, correct?

    Anyone have any numbers from fish hatcheries about number of eggs gathered to # of fish released from 2009 to now?

    There should be a relationship in there.. 1 million eggs = 100K fish released..

    This would be easy detective work to see if Fuku radiation did a number on eggs and young fish.

    Report comment

  • Mr. Baxter
    January 1, 2014 at 12:25 pm · Reply
    I have a new posting if you'd like to check it out:

    My post links to this article.

    Thanks and have a Happy New Year!

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