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Fishermen from Fukushima, Japan, return to port with first catch since 3/11 June 15,2012   |  Source: The Asahi Shimbun

Fishermen in the northeastern Japanese city of Soma in Fukushima Prefecture set out on a trial fishing operation on June 14 in hopes of resuming their work after voluntarily refraining from going to sea following the Fukushima nuclear disaster last year.

The fishermen came home with their first catch in 15 months amid positive expectations and fears of negative publicity.

Six trawlers of the Soma-Futaba fishermen's union left Matsukawaura Port in Soma around 1 a.m. and headed for waters near the border of Miyagi Prefecture, about 50 kilometers to the northeast.

They caught two species of octopus and one sea snail species from depths of more than 150 meters. No radioactive substances were detected in those species during monitoring surveys after the March 2011 disaster at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.

The catches will be screened for radioactive content, before and after processing by boiling. The catches will not be for sale.

The results of the inspections will be presented June 18 to a meeting of the heads of fishermen's unions under the umbrella of the Fukushima Prefectural Federation of Fisheries Co-operative Associations. If product safety is confirmed, trial fishing will again be held on June 20 and 27, for the same three species.

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© The Asahi Shimbun Company

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