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Large, Predatory Fish Eat Plastic Debris
Large, predatory fishes from the offshore waters around Hawai'i have been ingesting a surprisingly large amount of plastic and other marine debris, according to new research by scientists at the University of Hawai'i at Manoa. These observations are the first of their kind in scope and in number, and they suggest that more attention should be given to marine debris in subsurface waters, as well as to the potential food web implications for human consumption.

Researchers investigated the stomach contents of 595 fish representing 10 predatory open-ocean species, including commercially valuable tunas and billfishes. Seven of the 10 species were found have ingested some form of debris, with varying degrees of frequency.

The effects of plastic ingestion on the health of these predatory fishes remain uncertain. Researchers don't know how long debris stays in the stomachs of large fishes, or whether they are able to pass such debris. Many plastics are known to absorb or take up PCBs, organochlorine pesticides, metals, and petroleum hydrocarbons from sea water. However, it is not known whether the toxins are transmitted to the fish that consumes the plastic, or ultimately to humans who consume the fish.

 
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Blue-Green Algae Health Warning Issued - Due to high levels of blue-green algae, health warnings have been issued. Blue-green algae have the potential to release toxins which can affect health by aggravating hayfever and asthma.


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