MOSCOW, April 15 (UPI) -- Authorities in eastern Russia dismissed reports of potential contamination of fish by radiation from Japan, where a nuclear plant was damaged by an earthquake.
Officials said there was no radiation threat to fish being caught off the coast of the Kamchatka peninsula, Tass reported Friday.
Local fishermen had expressed worries that foreign buyers of Alaska pollack would lower their purchasing prices because of rumors about "incredible radioactivity contamination of bioresources in Kamchatka waters."
Government officials said a Fishing Research Institute research vessel monitoring breeding areas reported only normal radioactive background in the air, water, and fish.
"Alaska pollack and herring do not migrate to areas of potential contamination. Therefore no radioactivity threat for the fish near Kamchatka coast exists even hypothetically," the institute said.
Local Gov. Vladimir Ilyukhin said contamination rumors were damaging the fishing economy of the region.
"Doubts about radioactive safety of fish products voiced by some foreign public and environmental organizations affect sales prospects and can trigger extremely negative consequences both for separate enterprises and the whole fishing industry," Ilyukhin said.
Japan's Fukushima Daiichi plant was disabled by March earthquake and has had radiation leaks.