A new study from UC Davis reports that 25% of the fish found in some supermarkets in California and Indonesia contain plastic pieces in their guts.
Scientists have always thought about the effect the debris thrown into the Ocean has and now, with this study, they seem to have found the answer.
The plastic found in the fish is not directly taken in by humans, as they don’t consume the guts. But this doesn’t mean they are not affected. The plastic thrown in the ocean pollutes the water with chemicals which are then absorbed by the fish’s flesh and, when eaten by humans, end up in their guts.
The most common sources of the pollution are microbeads and plastic bags. Microbeads cannot be filtered by the water systems, so they go directly into the ocean. In order to lessen the use of microbeads, there appeared ground apricot shells to be used in personal care products.
As for the plastic bags, the officials still try to prohibit their use and to replace them with biodegradable bags.
“Most scientists and most of the environmental community have concluded that the best way to attack plastic pollution is to figure out how to use less plastic in the first place,” said Rick Wilson, a member of Surfrider Foundation.
Indonesia faces the same problem. Known for its great marine biodiversity, it is also affected by the plastic debris thrown into the ocean.
The study was made on 64 fish belonging to 12 different species taken from markets in California and 76 fish taken from markets in Indonesia. The study revealed that 80% of the debris found in the Californian food contains fibers, while the Indonesian one doesn’t contain fibers at all.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration declared that 90% of the seafood from America is imported, so there is a high probability that the Indonesian food is served by the Americans.
The National Marine Fisheries Service provided data according to which the Americans imported 100,000 tons of fish from Indonesia.
A future collaboration between people, state officials and environmentalists could lead to a decrease of such pollution cases.
Image Source: flickr