Whale absorbs 10 million pieces of microplastics a day from ocean pollution

Author: Clark Tos
2022-11-02 14:45:02

American researchers have estimated the amount of microplastics that whales absorb per day. The figure is staggering and sends shivers down your spine.

Credit: bbevren/iStock

10 million pieces of microplastics absorbed every day by whales blue. This is the number estimated by researchers at California State University and revealed on Tuesday, November 1 in the scientific journal Nature Communications .

This is a much larger number than we once thought and a testament to the impact of plastic pollution in our oceans .

According to previous studies, tiny plastic fragments have already been found deep in the oceans, on top of mountains and even in the organs and blood of the human body.

43.6 kilograms of plastic absorbed by whales every day

Credit : Andriy Nekrasov/iStock

To arrive at this estimate, scientists observed the feeding habits and movements of 191 blue whales, fin whales and humpback whales that live off the coast of California through tags on their backs.

The team of scientists, led by researcher Shirel Kahane-Rapport, lead author of the study, noted that the mammals feed in ocean depths between 50 and 250 meters. As Shirel Kahane-Rapport explains to AFP, this is an area where “ highest concentration of microplastics in the water column ».

By then estimating the size and number of bites each day, the scientists developed three scenarios with different quantities. In the most likely, the amount of microplastics absorbed daily by whales reaches 10 million pieces, or 43.6 kilos of plastic ingested.

These colossal figures make whales the land animal that consumes the most microplastics. These fragments come from 99% of the prey on which the whales feed (anchovies, sardines and krill, specifies the researcher).

« It's worrying for us said Shirel Kahane-Rapport because humans also consume these same prey.

Source : 20 Minutes