Catch from Japan’s waters safe: agency

Staff writer, with CNA

Wed, Sep 04, 2013 - Page 3

Taiwan’s fishing boats have been operating in safe waters and their catches should be safe, Fisheries Agency officials in Greater Kao-hsiung said in response to reports of major water leaks and high levels of radiation at Japan’s Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant.

Taiwan’s tuna fishing ships operate in waters south of Taiwan and the fish they catch should be free of radiation contamination from the plant, Taiwan Tuna Association secreatary-general Huang Chao-ching (黃昭欽) said.

Taiwan Squid Fishing Industry Association head Shi Jiao-min (施教民) said the nation’s squid fishing ships returned to Taiwan from the Falkland Islands in the middle of May and then went to waters off northeastern Japan in the middle of June to fish for Pacific saury.

Shih said saury was being caught in waters thousands of nautical miles from Fukushima and were not likely to be exposed to contamination.

The agency also checks for residues of radioactive materials when the ships return to Taiwan with their catches, Shih said.

Agency officials said they would rigorously check the catches of boats operating in Japanese waters.

Tests conducted on saury to date have not found anything unusual, fishery officials said.