Scientists can not find plastic waste floating in oceans – so blame fish for eating it

Scientists expected to find a million tonnes of floating plastic waste in the oceans but only actually found 40,000 t. Instead of doubting their initial model they conclude fish must be eating the plastic. – Scientists say fish may be eating ocean plastic waste – I would have thought there would be ongoing research into what fish are eating – here n there around planet earth. Nothing could be easier than examining fish insides at factories where they are processed. Surely Departments of Fisheries keep tabs on this routinely.
Anyway – I thought it was an interesting report – seeing we are usually bombarded with – “the oceans are clogged with our plastic waste” – style of stories.

8 comments to Scientists can not find plastic waste floating in oceans – so blame fish for eating it

  • I ran a fish factory for 8 years, processing thousands of tonnes of fish. I found 1 plastic bag in a fish stomach, a cod caught half way between Australia and Indonesia in over 100 metres deep water.

  • Bob of Castlemaine

    Maybe it’s the same fish also eating the zillions of plastic bags and bottles that are supposed to be cluttering our roadsides and waterways?

  • kuhnkat

    Couldn’t possibly have anything to do with agenda driven enviros exaggerating their reports of huge gyres of plastic could it?? 8>)

  • Philip Bradley

    In amongst the mass of baseless enviro claims, there may be something to plastic degrading to nano particles and entering the foodchain.

    No real evidence it is, but sounds possible to me.

  • Graeme No.3

    Philip Bradley:

    most common household plastics degraded rapidly in sunlight. I once picked (or tried to) a 5L polyethylene bottle off a laboratory window sill and put my fingers through the walls. We worked out that it been stored in that spot on the window sill for 18 months behind rough surfaced reinforced glass. The next bottle was nitric acid and we were very careful moving that. All plastic was banned from the window sill, where it was exposed to diffused afternoon sunlight in Melbourne..

  • maybe

    One fisherman who worked on trawlers anecdotally told me that they regularly trawled up pieces of plastic that were weighed down by barnacles. He supposed that the debris was being colonized by small mollusks until the weight of them dragged the plastic to the bottom of the oceans.

  • James Strom

    Plastics of many types break down quickly in the environment. If the processes are not already fully known, it would seem to require not much more than an early grade science project to tally the specifics. The one worry would be nano particles entering the flesh of food species chemically, but even this should be easily resolved.

  • Paul Goard

    No mention has been made of the possibility of such small creatures as bacteria, microbes and other zoological life being able to devour the plastic, often already degraded by sunlight.