Spring migration underway and wildlife flourishing near Fukushima, official says

(NOAA) – Wildlife is flourishing around Fukushima and the spring migration is under way, the Fish and Wildlife Service announced today.

Collapsing fish populations after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami decimated fish stocks in the vicinity, but this year the collapse has not been witnessed, with a recovery in the tuna and shark fisheries, the agency reported.

“We attribute that to conservation efforts,” said Tomoko Igarashi, administrator of the Northeast Pacific Fisheries Management Council.

She said declines and recoveries observed in other species, such as striped bass, cod and marlin, can be attributed to conservation efforts.

The decline of the shoreline’s wildlife population was greatly influenced by the March 11, 2011, earthquake and tsunami that resulted in the mass meltdowns of two of the crippled reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant.

Despite relief efforts in 2010, aquariums around the world attributed about 20 percent of their fish stocks to the Fukushima meltdown. The historical survey from 2010 showed nearly 200 species of fish as having been affected by the meltdown.

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This report was written by Michael Brown, with contributions from Noah Shachtman and Arianna Oberg.

Michael Brown, director of research and special projects for the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC, writes a blog for The Daily Beast’s D.C. bureau. He is former Senior Editor for Smithsonian Magazine and the author of ‘Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me’, to be published on June 6, 2016 by Hyperion Books, Inc.


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