South Korea’s Seafood Sector Suffers Blow as Japan Dispenses Nuclear Waste into Ocean

by Ella

Seoul, South Korea—The bustling fish markets of South Korea fell eerily quiet on Thursday in the wake of Japan’s decision to release treated water from the Fukushima nuclear plant into the ocean.

Despite objections from both local fishing communities and China, Japan proceeded with the release of treated nuclear waste from the ailing Fukushima power plant into the marine environment.


Reports from Yonhap News, based in Seoul, indicated that the renowned Jagalchi Market in South Korea’s Busan province and the nearby Millak Raw Fish Town were notably devoid of their usual activity.


A seafood vendor, quoted by Yonhap News, remarked, “Times used to be brisk, especially around 10 a.m. and between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m., even during slower business periods. However, these days, the market resembles a vacant thoroughfare with minimal foot traffic.”


Another seller within the market expressed their disheartenment, saying, “Anticipating the seafood auction tomorrow is quite disheartening. It seems seafood consumption has dwindled by approximately a quarter, and there’s potential for prices to plummet further. The path forward is increasingly uncertain.”


The discharge of water commenced at around 1 p.m. local time (0400GMT), sparking heightened concerns pertaining to the seafood industry and environmental well-being.

In its initial phase, Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), the operator, will dilute roughly 7,800 tons of treated water with seawater, allowing the diluted mixture to be gradually released over a span of 17 consecutive days.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida offered assurance earlier in the week, stating, “The government will shoulder full responsibility, even if it extends over decades.” Kyodo News, headquartered in Tokyo, relayed this sentiment.

The International Atomic Energy Agency acknowledged that the release of nuclear waste would yield a “negligible radiological impact on people and the environment.” However, the agency declined to endorse Tokyo’s decision.

Despite these assurances, the move by Japan has evidently cast a cloud of uncertainty over the seafood sector in South Korea, leaving stakeholders grappling with the implications of this unprecedented development.



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