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Plastic Pollution Is Outnumbering Baby Fish By Seven to One, Find Scientists

While it is possible to collect plastic trash on the Earth’s surface, the task becomes extremely difficult in water bodies.

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Updated:November 13, 2019, 8:41 AM IST
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Plastic Pollution Is Outnumbering Baby Fish By Seven to One, Find Scientists
Representative Image. (Reuters)

For years, scientists and climate change activists have been expressing concern over the increased use of plastic, which has led to tremendous pollution.

While it is possible to collect plastic trash on the Earth’s surface, the task becomes extremely difficult in water bodies. Despite warnings, the water bodies, especially the oceans and seas are home to a large amount of plastic trash.

This waste leads to the death of a number of water animals and fishes.

It is a well-known fact that marine fish spends its days to weeks while feeding and developing at the ocean surface. The surface slicks are considered to be important larval fish nurseries. It has been found in a new study that these surfaces disproportionately accumulate non-nutritious, toxin-laden prey-size plastics.

The study was conducted by the researchers of the University of California, Santa Cruz, US.

The researchers, who studied a baby fish off the coast of Hawaii revealed the issue on Monday.

According to the study, there are minuscule plastic particles that cluster at the ocean’s surface. These harmful plastic pieces mix themselves with baby fish food. The larval fishes end up consuming these particles, endangering their lives.

In a press release, Jonathan Whitney, the co-author of the study, said, “We were shocked to find that so many of our [water] samples were dominated by plastics.”

The plastic toxins can cause intestinal blockages, toxin accumulation and malnutrition in adult fish. However, this is one of the few studies published on the effects of plastic waste in larval fish.

The study is published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy.

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