Oceanic Plastic Pollution Enters the Food Chain

Hmm… maybe banning plastic bags wasn’t such a bad idea after all. The LA times reports on alarming new oceanic research from southern California, where scientists from the Algalita Marine Research Foundation and the Southern California Coastal Water Research Project found bits of plastic in  the stomachs of 35% of the fish they collected off the U.S. west coast. That’s a lot of fish! The average fish gut contained two pieces, but some had as many as 83 plastic pieces in their stomachs.

Why is this so scary?

Many of the fish being collected were smaller fish like lantern fish, which head to the surface to eat plankton. While skimming for plankton they grab a few pieces of plastic and a few days later, that lantern fish is in the belly of a passing tuna or mahi mahi. And next thing you know, that plastic-containing piece of tuna is sitting on your plate with a side of wasabi and ginger.

If we are serious about preserving the health of our oceans and our seafood supply, the we must get serious about phasing single use plastic out of our lives. It’s the least we can do. Unless you like the taste of plastic.

Photo: Dimitar Dilkoff

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