Yukio Ito manages Marufuto Chokobai fish vendors at the Onohama Fish Market in Iwaki. He says after the nuclear meltdown, suppliers avoided bringing gas, food and water to Iwaki City for fear of being exposured to radiation. Ito says that fear continues; customers don't trust fish from the sea in the vicinity of the damaged Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear power plant. Ito and other fish sellers have been forced to find ways to deal with the possibility of radiation contaminating their fish.
“We didn’t have any idea how to handle radiation,” Ito said. “Fishermen hesitated to catch fish, because they worried, and weren’t certain they could sell the fish they caught.”
Ito and others learned to record radiation values directly after fishing; the testing shows whether or not the fish are safe to be sold. This has improved business tremendously, but according to Ito, many people from other prefectures still refrain from buying fish from Fukushima. The result is that Fukushima fish sell for less making it harder for Fukushima fishermen to earn a living from the sea.
Photos and text by Tate Samata