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

Katrina Brought Enduring Changes to New Orleans

The city’s recovery is the result of the people and culture the city is famous for, as well as newcomers and start-up industries More

China to Open Stock Markets to Pension Funds

In unprecedented move, government to soon allow local pension funds to invest up to $94 billion in domestic shares More

Magical Photo Slides Show Native Americans in Late 1800s

Walter McClintock spent 20 years photographing the Blackfoot Indians and their vanishing culture at the dawn of the modern age 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.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs