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Hong Kong's seafood businesses brace for sales slump as Japan plans to discharge wastewater

79 Comments
By KANIS LEUNG

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Japan just know exactly how to spread trouble, all problem that being faced by Fukushima fisherman will be faced by Hongkong's sea food business which previously have no issue at all, thanks to Japan.

-18 ( +18 / -36 )

Oyster shop owner Wilson Lau, who sells shellfish from Miyagi, said he was not bothered. “Fresh oysters also exist in many countries," said Lau, who is director of the HK Oyster Concern Group. “Even if consumers do not eat Japanese oysters, they can eat other types of oysters.”

Japan is shooting itself in the foot here. Brand "Japan" has value in many Asian countries, and this is just going to hurt the folks on both sides. Yet Japan is counting on people eventually turning a blind eye and things going back to "normal".

Thing is, many seafood products can be purchased from countries other than Japan, and it could be an opportunity for others to get into the market.

-12 ( +21 / -33 )

How did Niigata find itself on the list? The media in HK must be doing a good job scaring the locals away from seafood which is a feature of Cantonese cuisine.

16 ( +25 / -9 )

Don't blame other countries at all for not wanting food from nuke tainted japanese waters.

-16 ( +17 / -33 )

@Fighto!

You do realize there is no science for the amount that they are planning to release. As It has never been done before in the quantities they are releasing.

0 ( +15 / -15 )

If they choose to be irrational that is their problem.

1 ( +16 / -15 )

It's so pity that HK residents would eat fewer seafoods or stop eating them.

This is because of something media, like HK or China government control.

Japan has made an so much effort and urged EU and IAEA to explain the safety of treated water scientifically and logically.

But only South Korea and China try to disgrace Japan

8 ( +22 / -14 )

This is the price of Governments losing pubic trust. I mean both governments. Japan has covered up the Fukushima disaster from the beginning and China, well, you just don't criticize Big Bro.

-6 ( +14 / -20 )

If they choose to be irrational that is their problem

Who is ‘they’?

The seafood businesses?

They aren’t choosing to be anything, they’re having their product rendered unsellable through no fault of their own.

They’re soon-to-be ex-customers? They have no problem, there is plenty of other stuff to eat.

TEPCO chose to be irrational when they built a nuclear reactor on the Ring of Fire and put the cooling apparatus in the basement, and that’s everybody’s problem.

-9 ( +14 / -23 )

Opportune time for Vietnam and Philippines.

12 ( +15 / -3 )

Japan innovation ~ dump it all in the sea.

Amazing technological advances here in the land of the rising sun...( Setting sun).

-20 ( +11 / -31 )

A significant number of my colleagues and acquaintances, myself included, have expressed a clear intention to refrain from consuming any food sourced from the waters surrounding Japan, primarily due to concerns regarding potential radioactivity. As an alternative, numerous individuals are opting to consume fresh seafood harvested from the pristine waters of Alaska or the Atlantic Ocean.

-17 ( +8 / -25 )

Customer Yo Kong said she's been dining more at Japanese restaurants lately to get her fill ahead of the expected discharge at Fukushima. Once that happens, the 50-year-old insurance manager said she might stop eating sashimi for a few months.

Same here.

Also we are going to only buy seafood from other parts of the world which we can get at Gyomu Super. I just don't want to risk it with my kids.

Japan is shooting itself in the foot here. Brand "Japan" has value in many Asian countries, and this is just going to hurt the folks on both sides. Yet Japan is counting on people eventually turning a blind eye and things going back to "normal".

Exactly. And they won't. I don't think Japan realizes the extent of the damage to its image here.

Thing is, many seafood products can be purchased from countries other than Japan, and it could be an opportunity for others to get into the market.

Exactly.

-19 ( +7 / -26 )

Why are LANDLOCKED Nagano and Saitama on this list? That’s just weird.

23 ( +25 / -2 )

Japan will be damaged by that.

also by banning of used cars of some categories for Russia.

japanese gov is acting against japanese national interests so hard.

-17 ( +5 / -22 )

Gunma

5 ( +8 / -3 )

But only South Korea and China try to disgrace Japan

It’s the peace of mind. People want to “feel” safe when consuming food. It’s not just Hong Long. Ask Americans if they would ingest seafood from Fukushima.

1 ( +8 / -7 )

I get the feeling Japan wants to do this just to spite the Koreans

-22 ( +7 / -29 )

If you value your health, you will completely avoid Japanese seafood as we have for over 10 years now. It's not worth the risk.

-21 ( +6 / -27 )

So, the HK government is very concerned about its citizens when it comes to seafood safety, but is fine with oppressing them, and stealing their rights through the National Security "law?"

This ban is a 100% political move.

15 ( +20 / -5 )

Politics, and the government is punishing a reliable trading partner as much as they're punishing their own businesses and citizens. CCP is the only beneficiary here. No point dragging up the same dead horse.

8 ( +12 / -4 )

If China or other countries will not buy Japanese fish products, Japan should stop buying fish from Russia!

1 ( +7 / -6 )

If you value your health, you will completely avoid Japanese seafood as we have for over 10 years now. It's not worth the risk.

You do know that the proposed radioactivity of the water will be treated to 1/40th of the allowable radioactivity levels right. For all we know, when China and South Korea, or Russia say they're discharging in a compliant manner, the water could be 40 times more radioactive than the proposed Fukushima discharge.

4 ( +13 / -9 )

Japan wake up! what a hot-button issue. Honk Kong is correct this time!

-9 ( +8 / -17 )

No Japanese fish for me.

-10 ( +10 / -20 )

1/40th of the allowable radioactivity levels right

That already sounds like way too much. You can't blame people for wanting to avoid it entirely.

-6 ( +8 / -14 )

VrethToday  10:41 am JST

You can't blame people for wanting to avoid it entirely

But you can’t. Background radiation, naturally occurring radiation, the water you drink, bath, cook with, rain, food, etc.

If you stop eating, stop drinking, and waste away in a full radiation suit, you can avoid it for maybe five days before you die.

There is so much information out there, easily accessible at your fingertips.

4 ( +10 / -6 )

@Roy Sophveason

This here is, depending on the person and their motivation, either the biggest misconception or the biggest lie. It has been done for decades, and it is done right now, in multiple times the quantities. We know exactly what happens. We have more than half a century to look back onto.

Really we have had that many lvl 7 (INES) meltdowns my recollection must be damn bad because I only recall 1 other lvl 7 (INES) meltdown in history.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

Are you new around here? Right after the invasion started the Japanese were yammering to get the salmon quota signed, sealed and delivered.

Japan should stop buying fish from Russia!

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Correct, that's why this has nothing in common with what a meltdown releases. This is the discharge of slightly tritiated waste water, just like it happens elsewhere in Japan and around the world.

Yea right slightly.... 22 trillion becquerels of tritium into the ocean a year show me the data where one location releases more than this in one year.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

La Hague in Frances releases Tritium water with 11,400 TBq/year. Sellafield in the UK releases 1200TBq/year.

11 ( +13 / -2 )

@wallace

La Hague in Frances releases Tritium water with 11,400 TBq/year. Sellafield in the UK releases 1200TBq/year.

Thanks for the info.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

And let's not forget that the 22 TBq/year limit is not an arbitrary number. That is what Fukushima Daiichi itself released year, for 40 years, in its regular operation between 1971 and the accident in 2011.

I am not sure that is correct. Never heard that before.

https://www.env.go.jp/en/chemi/rhm/basic-info/1st/06-03-09.html

0 ( +3 / -3 )

What a laughable article. So, Hong Kong buys literally tons of farm-raised shrimp from China and Southeast Asia - which is loaded with chemicals, pesticides, etc.. The list includes land-locked prefectures in Japan. And, the amount of radioactive waste being dumped is a literal fraction of what is considered dangerous. So, someone from Hong Kong is eating pesticide-laden, farm-raised shrimp and is oblivious to it, but is boycotting Japanese seafood. Makes no sense.

7 ( +12 / -5 )

I think the Tritium water discharge before the disaster was higher than 22TBq.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

There is no doubt that Asian fish markets will take the brunt of the Fukushima water release because of reputational damage.. 

But compared with the No. 5 Fukuryumaru incident, it will certainly pale. Damage from U.S. Bikini nuclear bomb tests, in which the Fukuryumaru was inadvertently involved, was real, not simply reputational.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Yes, many of the seafood sold in HK originates from Saitama, Tochigi and Gunma prefectures...

1 ( +5 / -4 )

How did Niigata find itself on the list?

Look at a map. It’s next to the uncontrollable nuclear disaster in Fukushima, and also had a serious nuclear accident when its NNP was hit by a serious earthquake about 15 year or so ago.

-11 ( +3 / -14 )

Just don’t eat any food from kanto, Tohoku or Hokkaido then you will be safe. But soon don’t eat any seafood from NK, SK north east China and southern, eastern Russia. And Hawaii and other pacific nations that are effected by the sea currents.

-7 ( +4 / -11 )

Then the Hong Kongers can eat beef or pork instead seafood. They just don't want to take the risk of eating radioactive contaminated seafood exports from Japan!

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

Look at a map. It’s next to the uncontrollable nuclear disaster in Fukushima

It's not, at all, close to where the nuclear disaster happened. You should check your maps again.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

We've all been told too many times things are safe and they turn out not to be safe. So I understand why people no longer want to eat Japanese seafood.

Trust was broken when the Tepco operatores didn't put the generators on the roof, that's it. Now we're all supposed to believe the water is safe. Well at one point, the plant was safe, until it blew up.

-4 ( +6 / -10 )

Do not do this , this is so bad , build something to hold this , this is how crazy the government is , they build these things with no solution

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

As an alternative, numerous individuals are opting to consume fresh seafood harvested from the pristine waters of Alaska or the Atlantic Ocean.

Oh, splendid decision! Alaska….where all the water from Japan’s east coast ends up due to the prevailing currents.

Better off to eat fish caught off Kyushu and Shikoku; zero risk of any contamination.

-9 ( +3 / -12 )

We got food bans from China, Hong Kong, Russia and South Korea.

Good job, TEPCO !!

-9 ( +6 / -15 )

The government is in charge of the nuclear disaster site and is the major shareholder.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Exactly!

You can easily separate Tritium from water using ion exchange techniques or by distilling.

There are lots of industrial tritium filters on the market.

It's scary that TEPCO's narrative is that it can't be done.

-10 ( +2 / -12 )

Japan will soon release Fukushima radioactive water ...

Jul 5, 2023 — “Tritium cannot be filtered out

https://edition.cnn.com/2023/07/04/asia/japan-fukushima-wastewater-explainer-intl-hnk/index.html

-9 ( +1 / -10 )

lunatic

Exactly!

> You can easily separate Tritium from water using ion exchange techniques or by distilling.

> There are lots of industrial tritium filters on the market.

> It's scary that TEPCO's narrative is that it can't be done.

It can't be achieved with one million tons of water accumulating at 400 tons per day. There might be alternatives but that isn't one of them.

Building a distiller the size of an Olympic swimming pool.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Is there an English expression when someone is trying to defend an indefensible cause?

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

The CNN article does not offer any alternative methods.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

its not CNNs job, not mine, not the fisherman's job.

Why do we have to do that?

We didn't blow up 3 nuclear plants

-13 ( +1 / -14 )

No one blew up three nuclear plants. Such a foolish remark. Three reactors went into meltdown because of a lack of cooling also causing hydrogen explosions.

If there was an alternative to releasing the water, the many thousands of scientists and engineers involved in the disaster would have come up with an answer by now.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

TEPCO ignores all advise from scientists about performing the tests, the measurements, the gathering of data, etc.

TEPCO won't listen.

TEPCO would rather put on their Kamikaze band, and throw itself on that wastewater pipe.

-14 ( +1 / -15 )

lunatic

TEPCO ignores all advise from scientists about performing the tests, the measurements, the gathering of data, etc.

Did you even read the two extensive reports from the IAEA? I did which was produced by a group of foreign scientists.

TEPCO won't listen.

Won't listen to what.

TEPCO would rather put on their Kamikaze band, and throw itself on that wastewater pipe.

There are more than 1,000 scientists and engineers trying to resolve the problems. Can you produce any evidence TEPCO is ignoring them?

The government which owns TEPCO has the final word.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

I'm more concerned about mercury in fish.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

There are more than 1,000 scientists and engineers trying to resolve the problems. Can you produce any evidence TEPCO is ignoring them?

Who are these people? Where are they? 1000, really? Aint you exaggerating?

Are them like the Scientific Panel the J-gov hired for COVID and dismissed, and hired different Scientifics and dismissed them as well?

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

lunatic

There are more than 1,000 scientists and engineers trying to resolve the problems. Can you produce any evidence TEPCO is ignoring them?

Who are these people? Where are they? 1000, really? Aint you exaggerating?

No I am not. More than 1,000 nuclear engineers and scientists are onsite. Others are working together in Tokyo. Many foreign scientists and engineers are involved.

Are them like the Scientific Panel the J-gov hired for COVID and dismissed, and hired different Scientifics and dismissed them as well?

Nothing to do with Covid.

I frequently search information which I have done since 2011. Because I am shocked by many aspects of the nuclear disaster and how it happened.

There have hundreds of peer reviewed papers.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

A total ban on import of Japanese seafood is the only way to restore consumer faith in local fish markets.

As long as Japanese imports are allowed, there will be doubts lingering in the minds of local Hong Kong consumers and this destroys fish market.

-9 ( +2 / -11 )

Chinese also fish in the Pacific.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

There have hundreds of peer reviewed papers.

Me too.

There's hundreds of papers against the wastewater release.

Goes both sides.

There is no scientific consensus.

I would even say that most of the scientific community is praying it to stop.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

The Chinese use huge fish factory ships trawling every ocean.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

It is unfortunate that the tainted water is to be dumped into the ocean and it is not surprising that people will avoid seafood that has been in contact with radioactive water. However, 15% of imports is not that significant. Pay a bit more for seafood from Hokkaido is all. Meanwhile, this whole thing will blow over in a few years and nobody will remember. They will all be gathered beneath an airconditioner as temperatures climb over 100 degrees F for extend periods of time.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

This is great for fish populations. A drop in demand will allow fish stocks to recover. PLAN fishing militia enjoy fish.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

No matter how much China and South Korea, who do not understand natural phenomena such as ocean currents and westerly winds, shout, nothing will change.

Even if you show a scientific basis, it is meaningless if the other party cannot understand it.

If China and South Korea stop eating seafood, the global environment will be protected, so not only Hong Kong but China and all of South Korea should stop eating seafood.

China and South Korea need to take PM2,5 and soil, water and air pollution more seriously.

China, Russia, and South Korea are not environmentally advanced countries enough to criticize Japan.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Goodbye, Japan's agriculture/aquaculture global ambitions.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

Stop fishing in Japan's EEZ while you are at it!

5 ( +5 / -0 )

It's been more than 10 years since the incident, those that are concerned stopped or found alternatives. There's going to be no impact on the seafood business in HK

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The gentle customer of that Hong Kong fish market probably faces greater health risks from the general uncleanliness off the place than any amount of notional radiation from fish caught in Japanese waters. The wet floor makes me think it is the kind of place that pandemics originate from.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

It is a matter of few months and these radioactive particles will travel across the world seas. It means by next year, all countries will sail in same boat as far as contamination is concerned.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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