A study published in Science offered Eurasian perch fry polystyrene plastic microparticles and they loved them. Even when offered natural foods like zooplankton, the perch gobbled up the plastics. The plastics seemed to inhibit egg development a bit, but the real stinker was that fish that were reared in a plastic-laden environment were not all that concerned with predators. They seemed to loose their fear of the smell of predators. This resulted in pike eating four times as many plastic-loving perch than the all natural ones. Researchers believe it is one particular chemical that is exciting the fish and making them think they are getting a highly nutritious meal.
Even though it is bad news, it seems like good science. It would be good to get more information on the effect on predators who are eating plastic fish.
Our favorite parts of this story
- ” I think of it as unhealthy fast food for teenagers, and they are just stuffing themselves.” says study leader Oona Lönnstedt of Uppsala University [FN Comment: Perhaps the microplastics are just like pot and the teenage fish are getting high and just not worrying about the predators, man. Chill bro, pike happens. ]
- Apparently some chemical is making the fish prefer plastic to real food. [FN Comment: They better hope Berkley does not get a hold of the recipe.]
Fish eat plastic like teens eat fast food, researchers say
Highly Cited-BBC New