In a move that has sparked both global interest and local concerns, Japanese authorities initiated the controlled discharge of treated radioactive water from the compromised Fukushima nuclear plant into the Pacific Ocean on August 24th. Despite assurances from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) regarding the safety of this operation, apprehensions persist among various sectors of society across East Asia and beyond.
In response to the prevailing uncertainties, Thailand’s Department of Fisheries has taken proactive measures to address the potential impact of this release. Deputy Director-General of the Department of Fisheries, Taworn Thunjai, disclosed that the agency has significantly ramped up its vigilance by implementing more frequent and stringent random inspections on seafood imported from Japan.
The intensified scrutiny predominantly targets products arriving from locations identified as having a higher susceptibility to contamination. These locations encompass Tokyo, Fukushima, Chiba, Gunma, Tochigi, Ibaraki, Miyagi, Niigata, Nakano, and Saitama. This collaborative effort has been made possible through a partnership between the Department of Fisheries, the Office of Atoms for Peace, and the Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Research, and Innovation (MHESI). By leveraging their collective expertise, these agencies are conducting meticulous radiation assessments on imported seafood items, aimed at preventing the entry of any products tainted with unacceptable levels of radioactive substances.
According to Taworn, the Deputy Director-General, all inspections conducted thus far have yielded results well within the permissible standards set forth by the Ministry of Public Health. He underlined that, up to the present, there have been no findings that breach the stringent limits. Notably, he pointed out that an impressive total of 4,375 samples of seafood and fishery products had undergone meticulous scrutiny by the Japanese health ministry from the previous year until April 2023. Remarkably, none of these assessments revealed contaminations exceeding the stringent requirements stipulated by Thailand’s health ministry.
Taworn emphatically affirmed that, in the event of any identification of radioactive contamination surpassing the established standards, an immediate product recall or a temporary halt on imports would be promptly enacted. These rigorous measures underscore Thailand’s commitment to upholding the safety and well-being of its citizens, as well as its dedication to ensuring the integrity of its imported goods.