Deep sea creatures in the Mariana Trench eat plastic and introduce it into the food chain, study finds

Amphipods had plastic fibers and particles in their digestive systems, known as the hindgut. The deeper the trench, the more fibers they found.

Sixty-six percent of the plastic they found was blue fibers. Black, red, and purple fragments were also present, along with blue and pink fragments.

No trench was fiber-free, and more than 80 percent of the amphipods contained them. When tested, the fibers were the same used in textiles, and the study suggests they entered the ocean after leaching from washing machines.

…Amphipods are becoming a vector to transport plastic particles into the food web.

“The amphipods they are finding fibers in are prey for larger fish and those larger fish are prey for even larger predators,” she says. …“And that puts these fibers into the food web. We are finding larger organisms with intestines lined with microfibers. They found a baleen whale that had been beached and when they cut it open, the intestines were lined with these smaller particles.

Deep sea creatures in the Mariana Trench eat plastic, study finds

sigh…

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