Tags: Climate Change | Global Warming | fish | plastic | oceans | pollution

WashPost: Fish Eating Lots of Plastic, and They Like It

Image: WashPost: Fish Eating Lots of Plastic, and They Like It
(Wong Maye-E/AP)

By    |   Monday, 04 September 2017 06:57 PM

Fish are eating a lot of plastic, and are apparently attracted to it, which poses a problem for the fish's well-being and for the people who eat them, a science policy fellow working with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration wrote in The Washington Post Sunday.

Matthew Savoca, along with three colleagues from the University of California, Davis, published a report in November that found marine organisms might be attracted to plastic debris because of the way it smells.

"Our main finding was that plastic debris is probably confusing for marine consumers because of both its appearance and its smell," Savoca wrote in the Post. "That's a problem, because if plastic looks and smells interesting to fish, it will be very hard for them to discern that it is not food."

A study published in June found young fish favored plastic particles over more natural foods if exposed to high concentrations of polystyrene.

"They all had access to zooplankton and yet they decided to just eat plastic in that treatment," author Dr. Oona Lonnstedt told BBC News. "It seems to be a chemical or physical cue that the plastic has, that triggers a feeding response in fish."

One way to rectify the problem, Savoca wrote, is to avoid single-use plastic items and recycle upon disposal.

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Fish are eating a lot of plastic, and are apparently attracted to it, which poses a problem for the fish's well-being and for the people who eat them, a science policy fellow working with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration wrote in The Washington Post.
fish, plastic, oceans, pollution
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2017-57-04
Monday, 04 September 2017 06:57 PM
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