Radioactive contamination in the Barents Sea, past and present status, uptake of radinuclides in fish and its impact on fisheries
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During the atmospheric nuclear bomb test at the end of the fifties and in the beginning of the sixties the Institute of Marine Research, IMR, monitored the radioactive contamination in commercial landed fish from the Barents Sea. There were indications of an immediate response in uptake of radionuclides depending on the time of the year, probably due to the food situation for the fish. There was also indications of species dependant uptake of radionuclides in fish. Even during the most intensive test period with fall-out directly to the Barents Sea the total beta-activity never exceeded 80 Bq pr kg fish. The last years media focus on potential radioactive contamination in the Barents Sea have necessitated an establishment of a quite extensive monitoring program, both in fish, water and sediments. The area of interest extends from the site of the sunken former Soviet submarine, "Komsomolets" in the west to Novaya Zemlya in the east of the Barents Sea. There is at present no significant indication of elevated contamination due to the dumping of radioactive waste by the former Soviet Union. The only present serious concern to the fisheries is the enormous focus from the media on the sunken submarine, "Komsomolets", and the dumped radioactive material in the Kara Sea.