(Natural News) By now toxic microplastics are everywhere. Their victims include seabirds, aquatic mammals, and mega-fauna. Now, they’re also in three out of every four mesopelagic fish caught in the Northwest Atlantic, warned a Science Daily article. The 73 percent contamination rate is one of the highest levels in the world. The unique feeding behavior of mesopelagic fish means they could drag surface microplastics down to the deeper levels of the marine ecosystem.Furthermore, mesopelagic fish are preyed upon by other fish that are in turn caught and consumed by humans. Given the longevity of microplastics, their associated toxins will contaminate our food supply.
“The high ingestion rate of microplastics by mesopelagic fish that we observed has important consequences for the health of marine ecosystems and biogeochemical cycling in general,” said Alina Wieczorek, a researcher from the National University of Ireland, Galway (NUIG.)
As their name denotes, microplastics are tiny fragments of plastic pollutants that have accrued in the ocean over the decades. If ingested by marine organisms, they can cause inflammation, loss of weight, and prevent proper feeding.
Their negative effects are not just limited to the animal that ate them. Microplastics can combine with chemical pollutants in the water. When a contaminated prey animal is eaten by a predator, the toxins will build up in the latter’s bodies.
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