The first seafood caught off Japan's Fukushima coastline since last year's nuclear disaster went on sale yesterday, but the offerings were limited to octopus and marine snails because of persisting fears about radiation.
Octopus and whelk, a kind of marine snail, were chosen for the initial shipments because testing for radioactive caesium measured no detectable amounts, according to the Fukushima Prefectural fishing co-operative. They were caught on Friday and boiled so they last longer while being tested for radiation before they could be sold.
Flounder, sea bass and other fish from Fukushima cannot be sold yet because of contamination.
"It was crisp when I bit into it, and it tasted so good," said Yasuhiro Yoshida, who oversees the seafood section at York Benimaru supermarket in Soma, which sold out of about 30kg of the snails and 40kg of the octopus shipped to the store.
Hirofumi Konno, an official in charge of sales at the fishing co-operative in Soma city in coastal Fukushima, said he hoped crabs would be next to go on sale as radiation had not been detected in them, but he acknowledged things will take time, perhaps years, especially for other kinds of fish.