Plastic Found in Nine Percent of North Pacific Garbage Patch Fishes
Photo source: ©©Kevin Krejci
Excerpts; from University of California, San Diego, in Science Daily
The first scientific results from a voyage led by a group of graduate students from Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego offer a stark view of human pollution and its infiltration of an area of the ocean that has been labeled as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch; an area of high concentration of fragments of floating garbage about 1,000 miles off the California coast.
During the SEAPLEX voyage in August 2009, the team of Scripps graduate students traveled more than 1,000 miles west of California to the eastern sector of the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre aboard the Scripps research vessel New Horizon. Over 20 days the team conducted comprehensive and rigorous scientific sampling at numerous locations.
The study, published this week on June 27 in the journal Marine Ecology Progress Series, reveals that the scientists found evidence of plastic waste in more than nine percent of the stomachs of fish collected during their 2009 voyage.
Based on their evidence, authors Peter Davison and Rebecca Asch estimate that fish in the intermediate ocean depths of the North Pacific ingest plastic at a rate of roughly 12,000 to 24,000 tons per year…