nature

Plastics in Great Lakes Research

What’s more concerning is that plastic has been found to act like a sort of sponge, concentrating toxic chemicals that are diluted in oceans and lakes. Such toxins include heavy metals and chemicals that have long been banned, such as DDT or PCBs, that can have severe environmental effects and are known to cause cancer and birth defects.

Overfishing Seriously Endangers Sharks & Rays

The most threatened species in the shark and ray Class are the sawfishes; all the world’s species are classified by the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) as Critically Endangered. The US population of smalltooth sawfish has declined by an estimated 99% while European sawfish are assumed extinct.

“Yes,” Says Research, Fish Consume Plastic Debris

The fish, which are found in the ocean’s gyres, come to the surface to feed at night, where they ingest the plastic particles which resemble the size of their usual prey.

Several samples of the myctophids uncovered significant loads of plastic the size of appropriate particles inside the guts of the animal.

“We believe these organisms may hold part of the response to where is the plastic going, because … they are the dominant species in the gyres of the ocean.”