News / Asia

Seafood Sales Sink in S. Korea Due to Radiation Fears

Seoul city officials check radiation levels of live fish during a photo call for the media at the Garak-dong agricultural and marine products market in Seoul, March 29, 2011
Seoul city officials check radiation levels of live fish during a photo call for the media at the Garak-dong agricultural and marine products market in Seoul, March 29, 2011

Fear about radiation from the nuclear power plant disaster in Japan is causing sales of seafood to dive in South Korea.

At the Garak fish market, the sales pitches about fresh and cheap seafood that would usually entice customers are falling on deaf ears.

A fishmonger, who has changed her tune, continually repeats that all of her seafood is Korean.

But there are few takers, compared to previous weeks - even though only 10 percent of the seafood at the Seoul market comes from Japan.

Fishmongers say sales have dropped by half as a result of the incessant headlines about radiation in seawater near the Fukushima nuclear power plant.

Kim Hyun-yi says she and her colleagues are now throwing away pollock, by the boxes.  The whitefish used to sell for between $70 and $80 per box.  She says the price was reduced, earlier in the week, to $5, but still no one would buy.

Another fishmonger, Lee Eun-young, says all people browsing are asking about the origin of the seafood displayed.

Lee says it is difficult to sell anything but frozen fish.  She says restaurant owners buy in bulk, but they have become reluctant to purchase, and some are apparently  temporarily closing their businesses while the radiation scare continues.

Shopper Chung Myung-sun says the troubles with the Japanese nuclear power plant are prompting a change in her household’s eating habits.

Chung says she is trying to avoid buying fish, altogether, and is switching to vegetables.  The only fish she will consider has to be frozen and caught before the radiation outbreak.

Also shopping at the market is restaurant owner Kim Shun-hwa.  She says fresh pollock is definitely off her restaurant’s menu.

Kim says, if word got out that she was serving it, business would definitely suffer.  So the only pollock she will consider is the frozen variety.  And, she is also worried about the safety of squid, because it comes from the waters between Japan and the Korean peninsula.

South Korea’s government has banned the import of food from areas surrounding the Fukushima nuclear complex.  It says it is screening all  fishery products from Japan for radiation contamination,

The Fukushima-1 nuclear power plant, on Japan’s northeastern Pacific coast, was crippled by a March 11 magnitude 9.0 earthquake and resulting tsunami, which topped 10 meters in height in some locations.

Since then, workers have struggled to bring the damaged reactors under control, but the plant continues to spew radiation into the atmosphere and sea water.

You May Like

Video British Fighters on Frontline of ISIS Information War

It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for Islamic State alongside other foreign jihadists More

Pakistan's Political Turmoil Again Shines Spotlight on Military

Thousands of protesters calling for PM Sharif to step down continue protests in front of parliament, as critics fear political impasse could spur another military coup More

Photogallery Ebola Quarantines Spark Anxiety in Liberian Capital

Food prices rise sharply as residents attempting purchases clash with security forces, leaving one person dead More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Native Bees May Help Save Cropsi
X
Deborah Block
August 22, 2014 12:23 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video Native Bees May Help Save Crops

U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video US Defense Officials Plan for Long-Term Strategy to Contain Islamic State

U.S. defense officials say American air strikes in Iraq have helped deter Islamic State militants for the time being, but that a broad international effort is needed to defeat the extremists permanently. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warned Thursday that the group formerly known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, is better organized, and financially and militarily stronger than any other known terrorist group. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Drug-Resistant Malaria Spreads in Southeast Asia

On Thailand’s border with Myanmar, also known as Burma, a malaria research and treatment clinic is stepping up efforts to eliminate a drug-resistant form of the parasite - before it spreads abroad. Steve Sandford reports from Mae Sot, Thailand.
Video

Video Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbas

The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Nigeria's 'Nollywood' Movie Industry Rolls in High Gear

Twenty years after its birth in a video shop in Lagos, Nigeria's "Nollywood" is one of the most prolific film industries on earth. Despite low budgets and whirlwind production schedules, Nigerian films are wildly popular in Africa and industry professionals say they hope, in the future, their films will be as great in quality as they are in quantity. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Lagos.
Video

Video UN Launches 'Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years' in Iraq

The United Nations has launched what it describes as one of the biggest aid operations in 30 years in northern Iraq, as hundreds of thousands of refugees flee the extremist Sunni militant group calling itself the Islamic State. As Kurdish and Iraqi forces battle the Sunni insurgents, the fighting has forced more people to flee their homes. Kurdish authorities say the international community must act now to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Cambodian American Hip Hop Artist Sings of Personal Struggles

A growing underground movement of Cambodian American hip hop artists is rapping about the struggles of living in urban America. Most, if not all of them, are refugees or children of refugees who came to the United States from Cambodia to escape the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s. Through their music, the artists hope to give voice to immigrants who have been struggling quietly for years. Elizabeth Lee reports from Long Beach, California.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid