The ongoing Japanese struggle to repair nuclear reactors damaged by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami has people across the Pacific concerned about the potential damage to the ocean from leaking radiation.
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, one of the nation’s top ocean research labs, has put together an online fact sheet about ocean radiation issues related to the Japanese disaster.
The Web site discusses different types of radiation from naturally ocurring and manmade sources, the potential for circulation by air and water, and what is known so far about the Japanese radiation releases, as well as likely effects on seafood. The page will be updated as more information becomes available.
NEWPORT, Ore. – Some Oregonians who recently purchased pink shrimp at the coast or at large retail stores have called Oregon State University’s Lincoln County Extension Office over the past few days to report a rather unusual trait.
Their seafood was glowing in the dark.
What sounds other-worldly is actually surprisingly common, according to Kaety Hildenbrand, an OSU Sea Grant Extension specialist who works with coastal fishing communities. Marine bacteria can cause glowing or luminescence when they grow on seafood products – a trait that may be exacerbated by the adding of salt during processing.
The important thing to remember, she said, is that “glowing” seafood does not present a food safety problem, nor does it reflect mishandling during processing.
1998 US FDA report on glowing seafood