There’s growing concern about the amount of plastic ending up in the world’s oceans, but researchers at Memorial University of Newfoundland have found one fish that doesn’t seem to consume it at all.
And they say despite the doom and gloom news reports, 41 per cent of all fish species studied in published research don’t appear to ingest plastics either.
Max Liboiron, an assistant professor of geography and a specialist in environmental pollution at MUN, examined the gastrointestinal contents of 134 silver hake caught in 2014 and 2015 on the Grand Banks.
“They were eating in places that do have plastics in them all off the south shore of Newfoundland, and none of them ate plastic, so they’re not a species that eat plastic,” Liboiron told CBC Radio’s Central Morning Show.
Liboiron is interested in determining how much plastic fish consume because the material can absorb oily chemicals such as pesticides and methylmercury, which are then absorbed by the fish, which are in turn eaten by other animals and humans.
The endocrine system-disrupting chemicals that leach from plastics have been linked to a number of human health problems, such as cancer, developmental delays, obesity and thyroid problems.
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