Researchers Find Plastic in More Than 9% of Fish in Northern Pacific

"Southern California researchers found plastic in nearly 1 in 10 small fish collected in the Pacific Ocean in the latest study to call attention to floating marine debris entering the food chain.

The study published this week by scientists at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego estimated that fish in the middle depths of the northern Pacific Ocean are ingesting as much as 24,000 tons of plastic each year.

Although the research found a lower percentage of plastic-fouled fish than previous studies, it is the latest to quantify how many fish are eating marine garbage — most of it confetti-sized flecks of discarded plastic — that has accumulated in vast, slow-moving ocean currents known as gyres."

Tony Barboza reports for the Los Angeles Times July 1, 2011.

Friday, July 1, 2011