An international team of scientists will disembark from Hawaii on Saturday to study how radiation from the Japan nuclear crisis has spread in the Pacific Ocean.

The 15-day expedition on the research vessel Kaimikai-O-Kanoloa is the first major international collaboration to study the issue.

Scientists from the U.S., Japan and Spain will be on board as they study the effect of the radiation contamination on marine life, the food chain and human health.

The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution is leading the trip, which will attempt to determine how much radioactive material from the March 11 earthquake has accumulated by studying different levels of the food chain, from microscopic plant and animals to the fish and shellfish people eat. There’s some concern about the impact of long-lived isotopes that can linger in the food chain.

Read it at the Miami Herald.