The radioactive waters off the coast of Japan created by the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant meltdown in 2011 may be responsible for the unusually large fish caught recently by a Japanese fisherman. Hirasaka Hiroshi reeled in a massive wolfish that is very close to record size. Is this another example of the consequences of the nuclear disaster?
Hiroshi caught the monster fish off the coast of Hokkaido, Japan’s northernmost and second-largest island, and near the coast of Russia. After posting photographs of it on Twitter, the fish was identified as a wolfish of the Anarhichadidae family. These increasingly rare bottom-feeders prefer the colder waters of the Pacific and Atlantic oceans.
What’s unusual about this particular wolfish is its massive size. Northern wolfish and Bering wolfish average 1.2 meters in length. The wolf eel (Anarrhichthys ocellatus) tops out at two meters. Whichever species it was that Hiroshi pulled in, it would be a record or close to it since the fish measured 2 meters in length.
Is this wolffish’s unusual size due to Fukushima? As a bottom-feeder, it’s eating the crustaceans and mollusks on the sea bed that filter out whatever sinks down there. That makes them prime collectors and repositories of radioactive waste, which is then passed on to the fish that feed on them.
Since the waters off the coast of Japan were fouled by Fukushima, there have been numerous reports of unusual or possibly mutant animals and plants, including giant lettuce, deformed radishes and double daisies. While nuclear industry experts and skeptics regard these as coincidences or anomalies that can occur without the presence of radiation, the number of them keep adding up. Is it a cover-up?
How much bigger do the wolfish have to get before an alarm goes off? Or is it already too late?