SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

The World

March 24, 2011

Japan's fishermen fear spread of radiation scare

(Continued)

Of Kesennuma's 68,000 residents, 25,000 are employed in the fishing industry, Onodera said. If people won't buy their fish, he added, the community will fall apart.

Kondou, bespectacled with a wispy mustache and goatee, dressed in a T-shirt that read "the Doomsday Distraction," says he simply wants to get back out at sea.

When the earthquake struck, he says he knew immediately that something was wrong because his boat was wracked by a series of strange successive waves.

Both he and his 12 crewmen used their cellphones to learn of the quake and its devastation. They quickly headed toward shore, passing a flotilla of floating houses, cars, trucks and dead bodies on the way.

Days later, Kondou wonders whether there will be a fishing industry left when his 5-year-old son is old enough to enter the business: "I don't know what is more dangerous to a fisherman these days — the radiation or the rumors."

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