As a graduate student I have email alerts for various marine science subjects to try and keep up to date with the latest articles, news posts, blogs, etc. Well, this past week I had an influx of alerts regarding the tremendous amount of plastic that is going into our oceans and wanted to share. Here an article predicts that by 2050 the ratio to plastic mass: fish mass will exceed 1; currently the ratio is 1:5. More so, another article [here] summarizes Jan Zalasiewicz et al. 2016 findings in how humans have created a ‘plastic planet’.
Other related news to the increase of plastic is how it may be affecting our health through the ingestion of persistent organic pollutants (POPs). Here an article summarizes work done at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego showing POPs are found in fish all across the world’s oceans! In a slightly positive light though, this article suggests the concentration of POPs found within fish products have declined over the past 30 years. In addition, another article [here] looking at coastal bird diets, suggest that microplastics, previously thought to increase the bioaccumulation of POPS, do not act as a vector of POPs upon ingestion by birds.