Fukushima Fisherman Return to Sea Amid Tainted Water Concerns

A fleet of more than 20 boats set out today from north of the wrecked Fukushima nuclear power plant after fishermen lifted a suspension imposed in late August amid concerns about contaminated water.

Fishery cooperative leaders reached the decision for test fishing at a meeting yesterday in Fukushima, Tadaaki Sawada, an official at the Fukushima Prefectural Federation of Fisheries Co-operative Association, said by phone. The decision came after no radioactive materials were found in sea water in tests conducted by the Fukushima prefecture, according to the official.

Fishermen in the Soma Futaba area have restarted fishing, Sawada said. Two other cooperatives from Iwaki and Onahama will start fishing on a test basis on Oct. 3, the first time since the March 2011 earthquake, according to Sawada.

The catch will be limited to 16 types of marine life, including squid and octopus.

Tokyo Electric Power Co., the utility responsible for the Fukushima nuclear plant, is working to stem the leak of contaminated groundwater into the Pacific Ocean, which the government has estimated at about 300 metric tons per day.

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