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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

World's largest fish market to be built on contaminated land?

Proposed home for world's largest fish market is contaminated land.

This blog post is about an article I read  at the following link, it concerns the fact that the World's largest fish
market may be moved to an area which has been scientifically shown to be contaminated with toxic chemicals and waste. 
To read this article click on the following link:
and then please come back and read the remainder of the information about this situation which I have 
researched for you online.

"The Tokyo Metropolitan Central Wholesale Market (東京都中央卸売市場 Tōkyō-to Chūō Oroshiuri Shijō?), commonly known as the Tsukiji Market (築地市場 Tsukiji shijō?), is the biggest wholesale fish and seafood market in the world and also one of the largest wholesale food markets of any kind. The market is located in Tsukiji in central Tokyo, and is a major attraction for foreign visitors."

"The market handles more than 400 different types of seafood from tiny sardines to 300kg tuna, from cheap seaweed to the most expensive caviar. Overall, more than 700,000 metric tons of seafood are handled every year at the three seafood markets in Tokyo, with a total value in excess of 600 billion yen (approximately 5.5 billion US dollars). Tsukiji alone handles over 2000 metric tons of seafood per day."


What would possess the developers of this project to place an establishment which is food-related on land which has toxic materials on it and within its surface? The mentality of some planners is beyond comprehension some time! Of course this suggests all the owners of this fish market are interested in is their profit margin!   Will you eat less fish if you knew that the fish you were going to eat at your table came from this market? I bet you would, or even stop eating fish all together!  The image I have posted at the top of this blog post is an actual satellite image over  Korea and the Sea of Japan. The air is so badly polluted over this area that  the country of Korea and the Sea of Japan can not been seen! I can only image what this air pollution does to the water under
this area!

source of image:

As stated at: "During the winter, air pollution in Japan is particularly bad since the polluted air comes not only from industrial and vehicle emissions within Japan, but also from polluted air masses that are derived from China."

"Furthermore, the majority of the western side of Japan receives large amounts of wet deposition acidic compounds (i.e. acidic precipitation). In fact, the worst region in Japan for acidic precipitation occurs along the central western coastline around the Toyoma and Niigata Prefectures."

"Minamata disease was named after a fishing port on the island of Kyushu where it was discovered in 1956. Chisso Corp. had been dumping methyl mercury directly into the bay since before World War II, but sharp increases in production in the early 1950s increased the flow of contaminating effluent. People and animals that ingested contaminated fish and shellfish suffered varying degrees of neurological damage. The polluting was not stopped until 1968 because the company, with the government's complicity, denied and tried to cover up its role in creating one of Japan's worst environmental disasters, one that became symbolic of the costs of relentless pursuit of economic growth."

"The author is a doctor from Niigata, where a similar outbreak occurred in 1965 due to dumping of methyl mercury by Showa Denko into the Agano River. Saito played a key role in diagnosing and treating patients and pushing for accountability. The highly toxic compound contaminated the river fish and caused severe mercury poisoning — nearly 700 residents in Niigata are certified as suffering from Minamata disease." (source:

These facts about the waters in and around Japan bring up an important point: As consumers we should be able to know where the fish we might buy in a grocery store, was caught. And if we think the water in which these fish lived is contaminated and might result in us getting sick or ill over time due to consumption of the fish, then
we certainly should have other sources of fish to buy from don't you think?

"Umbrella handles. Pens. Popsicle sticks. Lots and lots of toothbrushes. These are just a few of the items that make up the approximately 13 million sq. km Eastern Garbage Patch, an immense plastic soup in the Pacific Ocean that starts about 800 km off the coast of California and extends westward. Sucked from the coasts of Asia and America by ocean currents, or discarded at sea, plastic debris accumulates there in an ever-growing mass that does not biodegrade and is said to be already larger than the United States."

"Scientists have long known that plastic in the garbage patch and elsewhere is stuffing the stomachs of seabirds and causing them to starve, suffocating fish and choking marine turtles.
But what is now becoming clear is that when pieces of plastic meet other pollutants in the ocean, the results can be even more toxic. That's because, as a growing number of studies are showing, the plastic debris absorbs harmful chemicals from the seawater it floats in, acting like a "pollution sponge" that concentrates those chemicals and poses a different, more insidious threat to marine and other life."

"According to Charles Moore — a U.S. sea captain-turned-researcher who discovered the Eastern Garbage Patch in 1997 while crossing the Doldrums, a windless part of the ocean that mariners usually avoid — resin pellets account for around 8 percent of annual oil production and are the raw material for the 260 million tons of plastic the world uses each year (they're also used in smaller quantities for purposes such as cleaning pachinko balls and stuffing teddy bears). Lightweight, small, and seemingly harmless, they escape in untold volumes during transport and manufacture and eventually wash into the ocean. Once there, as a 2001 paper by Takada, colleague Yukie Mato and four other Japanese researchers first showed, they suck up a range of persistent organic pollutants (POPs)."

"Specifically, the 2001 paper focused on polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), a highly toxic group of industrial chemicals, and DDE, a degraded form of the pesticide DDT. Though PCBs are now banned, and in most countries DDT use is restricted, neither breaks down readily and both are still present in seawater. Additionally, these toxins have been found to accumulate on the seabed, where storms frequently stir them back into the water, rendering them again liable to be gobbled up by floating plastic debris."

"Both PCBs and DDE have been proven to disrupt the endocrine system, the extremely sensitive set of glands and hormones that regulate functions such as insulin production, metabolism and sexual development. And now, they're showing up in plastic garbage that acts as a magnet to leach them out of the marine soup.
"Chemicals like PCBs and DDE are very hydrophobic," explains Takada. "That means they have a very high affinity for oily materials. Basically, plastics are solid oil. Therefore, plastic pellets accumulate hydrophobic pollutants with a concentration factor that's almost 1 million times (compared to the overall concentration of the chemicals in seawater)."

"Takada uses pellets in his research because they are a uniform size and shape and therefore easy to study and compare. But he says that other types of plastic debris — which comprise a greater proportion of the plastic in the ocean and include everything from discarded fishing gear to stray shopping bags and fast-food cartons — display the same tendency as the pellets to absorb toxins."

"What happens next to this poison-laden debris is less certain. Some pieces certainly sink to the deep ocean floor or are washed up on beaches. Others, however, have been found in the stomachs of sea creatures, including fish, birds, marine mammals and reptiles. Scientists believe some animals may actively select the pellets because they resemble fish eggs."

"Whether the chemicals contained in them are then desorbed to digestive fluids and transferred to tissues in quantities significant enough to harm the animals that have eaten them is the subject of intense, but as yet incomplete, research."

"That, though, doesn't stop some scientists from worrying.
"We should be very concerned," says Theo Colborn, founder of The Endocrine Disruption Exchange (TEDX), a U.S.- based organization that focuses on the health effects of endocrine-disrupting chemicals. Though these health effects are still the topic of much debate, she says a host of scientific studies have shown that even low-level exposure to endocrine disrupters may be linked to attention- deficit disorder, diabetes, falling fertility rates and more."

"Hence Colborn is concerned that if fish eat toxic plastic, those same toxins may be absorbed into the bodies of people who eat the fish. "Endocrine-disrupting chemicals could also interfere with the ability of fish to reproduce," she adds"
"Meanwhile, at the same time as plastic garbage is acting like a sponge for environmental pollution, research also shows it is releasing another set of chemicals into seawater — and possibly into the bodies of the creatures that eat it."

"Chemicals like bisphenol A (BPA), nonylphenol and octylphenol are added to plastic for purposes such as fireproofing and stabilizing. But many of these additives are proven endocrine disrupters or carcinogens, and studies have shown beyond doubt that over time they can leach into seawater (just as they leach into drinking water kept in plastic containers)."

"It may be tempting to think of all these pollutants as literally drops in the ocean. Not so says sea captain Charles Moore, who has been studying the Eastern Garbage Patch since 1997 through the California-based Algalita Marine Research Foundation, a nonprofit organization he founded."

"Subtropical gyres (areas of circular motion) make up 40 percent of the ocean. That's 25 percent of the globe. All of them are accumulators of debris," he says."

"Japan is one of the world's main consumers of plastic and also a major contributor of plastic garbage. In 2004, Japan discarded 10 million tons of plastic, according to the Plastic Waste Management Institute. About 60 percent of that was either recycled or burned for energy, and most of the rest went into landfills or was incinerated. Nonetheless, plenty still ends up in the ocean."

"For the past 20 years, the Japan Environmental Action Network (JEAN) has been organizing a yearly beach cleanup and survey. Of the 72,000 pieces of garbage they recovered in 2007, the top four types found were polystyrene, hard plastic, cigarette filters and butts, and plastic sheets and bags."

"JEAN spokesperson Yoshiko Ohkura says the government is finally taking action on the issue by starting its own survey of marine debris."

"The 2008 Basic Plan on Ocean Policy acknowledges that marine litter is a problem, and promotes countermeasures such as a harsher crackdown on marine environment crimes, support for local governments dealing with marine litter, and increased international cooperation on the issue."

"Ohkura, however, insists that doesn't get to the root of the problem. "Of course we need rules and industry must follow them. But before that, consumers have to say, 'we don't need it,' " he argues.
Takada agrees, pointing out: "We can't avoid using plastic, but we use too much."
In fact, he's added a fourth "R" to the ecologist's classic mantra of "reduce, reuse, recycle": "refuse." The current bring-your-own-bag movement at retail stores and supermarkets is a good start in terms of refusing, he notes — as long as that bag itself is not made of plastic.
When it comes to plastic resin pellets, Shoichiro Kobayashi of the Japan Plastics Industry Federation says his members have taken measures to reduce spillage."

"In 2005, Takada started a project called International Pellet Watch that tests pellets from around the world for PCBs, agrochemicals and other pollutants. He says the results can't be used for precise monitoring, but levels of each pollutant tested in plastic pellets roughly paralleled levels found in mussels collected from the same area (mussels are a conventional indicator of marine pollution levels)."

After reading this information I am certainly going to avoid eating any fish or seafood from this area of the world!
If the employees of the store do not know what area of the world the fish came from, or are unwilling to disclose this information which I have a right to know, then I simply will not be buying fish at this grocery store!

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Thoughts worth thinking about

"Our subconscious minds have no sense of humor, play no jokes and cannot tell the difference between reality and an imagined thought or image. What we continually think about eventually will manifest in our lives."-Sidney Madwed

Laws alone can not secure freedom of expression; in order that every woman and man present their views without penalty, there must be spirit of tolerance in the entire population.- Albert Einstein Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. - Leo Buscaglia

A person's true wealth is the good he or she does in the world. - Mohammed

Our task must be to free ourselves... by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty. -Albert Einstein

The best way to find yourself, is to lose yourself in the service of others. - Ghandi

The unselfish effort to bring cheer to others will be the beginning of a happier life for ourselves. - Helen Keller

Aim for success, not perfection. Never give up your right to be wrong, because then you will lose the ability to learn new things and move forward with your life. Remember that fear always lurks behind perfectionism. Confronting your fears and allowing yourself the right to be human can, paradoxically, make yourself a happier and more productive person. - Dr. David M. Burns

Life is as dear to a mute creature as it is to man. Just as one wants happiness and fears pain, just as one wants to live and not die, so do other creatures. -His Holiness The Dalai Lama

Mankind's true moral test, its fundamental test (which lies deeply buried from view), consists of its attitude towards those who are at its mercy: animals. And in this respect mankind has suffered a fundamental debacle, a debacle so fundamental that all others stem from it. -

Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being

The worst sin towards our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them. That's the essence of inhumanity. -George Bernard Shaw

Ego's trick is to make us lose sight of our interdependence. That kind of ego-thought gives us a perfect justification to look out only for ourselves. But that is far from the truth. In reality we all depend on each other and we have to help each other. The husband has to help his wife, the wife has to help the husband, the mother has to help her children, and the children are supposed to help the parents too, whether they want to or not.-Gehlek Rinpoche Source: "The Best Buddhist Writing 2005 pg. 165

The hostile attitude of conquering nature ignores the basic interdependence of all things and events---that the world beyond the skin is actually an extension of our own bodies---and will end in destroying the very environment from which we emerge and upon which our whole life depends.