West Coast salmon to be tested for radiation

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is testing West Coast salmon for radiation. But the agency wouldn't say whether or not fish from Barclay Sound is being tested.

Salmon from the West Coast will be tested for radiation resulting from Japan’s Fukushima nuclear disaster, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency is reporting.

But whether that testing included Barclay Sound salmon remains a question.

Planned since June, testing has taken place through August and will continue in September.

Sockeye, Coho, Chum, and Pink are being tested, as well as Albacore Tuna.

The fish are being taken from processing stations at various points across the B.C. fishery, CFIA spokesperson Mark Clarke said.

Fish from the West Coast likely won’t be impacted by the Fukushima disaster but testing is prudent nonetheless.

“We expect that these test results will be well below Health Canada’s actionable levels for radiation,” Clarke said.

Clarke would not answer repeated questions about whether or not Barclay Sound was among the stations where fish are being tested.

Barclay Sound fish stocks shouldn’t be affected by the radiation fallout, Tseshaht fisheries biologist Andy Olson said.

The sockeye migrate through Alaska and the Bering Sea then back along the West coast.

“They would have been back in B.C. and out of the area at the time of the disaster,” Olson said.

The Tseshaht haven’t been involved in any of the testing. “But we look forward to the test results,” he said.

Test results are to be posted on the CFIA website as they become available.

In March Simon Fraser University researchers announced they found increased levels of  iodine-131 (131-I) in seaweed from Eagle Bay in Barclay Sound.

The levels weren’t harmful to humans though, researchers said.

reporter@albernivalleynews.com

With files from Jeff Nagel.