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Fish consuming vast quantities of plastic ocean waste

Last Updated: Friday, July 4, 2014 - 13:09

Sydney: Australian scientists are concerned that fish are eating hundreds of thousands of tonnes of plastic floating in the ocean and this waste is ending up in sea food, a media report said Friday.

Carlos Duarte, an oceanographer from the University of Western Australia, said there was 100 times less plastic on ocean surfaces than expected, Xinhua reported.
"The disturbing reality is that we cannot account for where the 99 percent that is missing may be," he told the Australian Broadcasting Commission (ABC).

"The plastic particles that are missing might be ingested by fish. That one possibility is... the most likely one."

The scientists found about 40,000 tonnes of plastic waste floating in the ocean, however, the figure is far less than the one million tonnes that had been predicted based on data going back to 1970.
Duarte said among the concerns with fish eating the waste is the possibility that the plastic could eventually end up in the human food chain.

"These... fish eating the plastic are predated upon by tuna, by sword fish and also by squid, all of which are on our dining plate, " he said.

"So the plastic might actually be coming into the tropic food web of the ocean of which we humans are part."

First Published: Friday, July 4, 2014 - 13:09
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