"Trillions of barely visible pieces of plastic are floating in the
world’s oceans, from surface waters to the deep seas. These particles,
known as microplastics, typically form when larger plastic objects such
as shopping bags and food containers break down.
Researchers are concerned about microplastics because they are
minuscule, widely distributed and easy for wildlife to consume,
accidentally or intentionally. We study marine science and animal
behavior, and wanted to understand the scale of this problem. In a newly
published study that we conducted with ecologist Elliott Hazen, we
examined how marine fish – including species consumed by humans – are
ingesting synthetic particles of all sizes.
In the broadest review on this topic that has been carried out to date,
we found that, so far, 386 marine fish species are known to have
ingested plastic debris, including 210 species that are commercially
important. But findings of fish consuming plastic are on the rise. We
speculate that this could be happening both because detection methods
for microplastics are improving and because ocean plastic pollution
continues to increase."
*** Xanni ***
Chief Scientist, Xanadu
Partner, Glass Wings
Manager, Serious Cybernetics