Plastic Outnumbers Fish

BBC News reports that according to research, plastic is building up in the areas of the ocean where fish feed and grow. A study found bits of plastic outnumber baby fish by seven to one in nursery waters off Hawaii.

The researchers set out to investigate the roles of “slicks” as nursery habitats for tiny larval fish. Slicks are naturally occurring, ribbon-like, smooth water features of the oceans, which are full of plankton, an important food resource. The researchers were surprised to find lots of plastic in the nets. They were astonished by the fact that plastics outnumbered the larval fish.

Plastic densities in surface slicks off Hawaii were, eight times higher than the plastic densities recently found in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Inside the slicks there were seven times more plastics than there were larval fish.

So, plastic ingestion by larval fish can easily be added next to the biggest treats to biodiversity and fisheries production, such as climate change, habitat loss, and overfishing.

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