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Wildlife on the coast of Japan has surged in strength over the past decade, despite the 2011 nuclear disaster at its crippled Fukushima Daiichi power plant, according to two published studies.
Katsuya Numa, professor of ecology at Hokkaido University in Japan told Fox News, “We are seeing a rising trend in populations of fish, crustaceans, insects and small animals near the nuclear power plant area.”
Numa and his colleague investigated fish and crab populations from the tsunami-affected areas of the coast of Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures as well as from some regional coastal waters. They found that the areas in the area, which are just under two miles from the Fukushima plant, continued to be affected by significant bird and marine species after the accident.
The pair’s findings were published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
In addition to finding that fish populations were strong near the nuclear plant, Numa also reported a surprise of a “huge increase in crabs. The number of crustaceans recorded by their fieldwork doubled from pre-disaster levels in less than five years.”
Numa explains, “Our work supports the hypothesis that the increase in the area’s crustacean abundance is correlated with the amount of radiation being released by the Daiichi nuclear power plant, which in turn, is related to the lack of human habitation in the area due to the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant Disaster. As the nuclear fallout wave hit coastal areas, some of the food sources available in Fukushima were destroyed.”
Tired of radiation? Have any questions? Or perhaps just curious? Follow wildlife scientist Chris Thomas on Twitter: @TombrightWildlife.
Chris Isidore contributed to this report.