Years ago researchers discovered the extent of discarded plastic floating
in the oceans. One of the first accounts I saw of effects on marine life
was of a sea turtle swallowing a plastic bag and dying of intestinal blockage. Turtles of that species being one of the few predators on
mature jellyfish, speculation was that the turtle had mistaken the bag
for a jellyfish. There have been whales found dead with hundreds of
pounds of plastic in their digestive tracts.
I have now read that they're finding plastic broken down into smaller and smaller fragments by ultraviolet light and other factors, and being
ingested by smaller animals. Further, plastic particles seem to be
absorbing smells to the extent that animals are mistaking them for food.
Is plastic detritus having effects on commercially fished species? Are commercial species ingesting plastic themselves or are the effects
further down the food chain?
My thanks in advance for any replies.
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