The radiation leakage from the Fukushima nuclear disaster of 2011 has already taken a toll on the environment surrounding Japan. However, a recent catch by a fisherman has raised concern over the long-lasting impact of the radiation and the effect that it has left on marine creatures.
Japanese fisherman Hiroshi Hirasaka recently caught a giant marine creature off the island of Hokkaido. The fish was later identified as a massive wolfish. Generally, a wolfish measure around 5 feet in length, however, the latest catch, which measured over six feet in length, has been the largest one discovered so far.
The unusual size of the wolfish made Hirasaka think that the fish could be a 'mutant' version of the organism, courtesy the contamination from the Fukushima nuclear disaster of 2011. Nuclear radiation leaked from three of the reactors in the plant following a tsunami triggered by an earthquake of magnitude 8.9.
The pictures shared by Hirasaka on Twitter made some people suggest that it could be due to the effects of the nuclear radiation. However, researcher Timothy Mousseau, who studies the damaging effects of nuclear radiation on wildlife believes that the size of the wolfish has nothing to do with the nuclear contamination.
"First and foremost simply because usually the effects of mutations are to reduce growth rates to make things smaller," said Mousseau, reported Yahoo News. "They grow less efficiently, they're less capable of catching food and they tend to not live as long. Most of the effects of increased mutations are deleterious. Very, very few mutations lead to extra-large size."
The contamination from the nuclear radiation leakage has declined over a period of time since the disaster because of natural decomposition and decay. However, a large part of the contaminated land area is expected to stay contaminated for the coming decades.