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Fri March 18, 2011
Seafood industry braces for Japan crisis impact
The earthquake, tsunami and radiation leaks in Japan are having a ripple effect on the trans-Pacific seafood trade.
In Seattle, Sushi Kappo Tamura chef and owner Taichi Kitamura is worried now that a big chunk of the Japanese fishing industry damaged or destroyed by the earthquake and tsunami. Along with sushi, Kitamura's menu also features some traditional recipes that use Japanese fish.
"Consistency in availability is very important because you have a menu and you have to keep certain items on the menu," Kitamura says.
Kitamura is also worried about the safety of the seafood he imports. South Korea, Singapore and other Asian countries are already testing Japanese food imports for radiation. Japanese authorities say the levels of radiation released from the crippled nuclear reactors don't pose a public health risk. But Kitamura says skittish customers might decide to stay away.