S. Korea suffers sharp fall in aquatic products sale after Japan's nuclear-contaminated wastewater dumping



South Korean fishermen have suffered a sharp fall in the sale of aquatic products after Japan's dumping of nuclear-contaminated wastewater into the ocean.

"Fishermen are now really on the brink of death. They are on the brink of bankruptcy. There are many fishermen under such situations," Kim Young-chul, a fisherman and executive director of the National Fisherfolks Federation in South Korea, told Xinhua on Tuesday.

Kim said the consumption of fishery products fell sharply before and after Japan's dumping of radioactive wastewater from the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant into the Pacific Ocean, which started on August 24.

"Fishermen suffered much even before the dumping. Consumption (of aquatic products) shrank sharply as people say they will not eat (aquatic products) as much as possible after the dumping of radioactive wastewater," Kim said.

According to the Gallup Korea poll of 1,602 adults for two days through July 10, 82.4 percent of the interviewees said the consumption of fishery products would reduce after the wastewater discharge.

The panic buying of dried fish emerged in the consumption market as they can be stored for years, while prices of raw fish were cut in half due to weaker demand, Kim noted.

"Wholesalers (of aquatic products) tell (fishermen) to stop fishing as they cannot sell, and even if (fishermen) go out for fishing, they should reduce their catch," he added.

Struck by a massive earthquake and an ensuing tsunami in March 2011, the Fukushima nuclear power plant suffered core meltdowns and generated a massive amount of water tainted with radioactive substances from cooling down the nuclear fuel.