Majority of north Atlantic fish have plastic in gut - study

Irish scientists have found overwhelming evidence of the presence of plastic waste in marine life, according to state broadcaster RTE.

The researchers, from NUI Galway, say this is one of the highest frequencies of microplastics recorded in fish anywhere in the world. From a research vessel they tested 233 different fish and found microplastics – typically from consumer products – in 73 percent of them.

Dr Tom Doyle, one of the lead scientists, said: “Our study highlights that these seemingly remote fishes located thousands of kilometres from land and 600 metres down in our ocean are not isolated from our pollution.”

The consequences of much plastic waste being washed into the ocean, and trapping or being swallowed by marine creatures, has been one of the environmental issues most discussed in recent months.

World Environment Day 2018, on June 5, will be hosted by India with a theme of “Beat Plastic Pollution”, the United Nations announced.

The findings of the Irish study are reported in the journal Frontiers in Marine Science.

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