Researchers find microplastics in the stomachs of baby mahimahi, other species off Hawaii

File photo of reef fish (Image: Wikimedia Commons)
File photo of reef fish (Image: Wikimedia Commons)
Updated: Nov. 11, 2019 at 9:39 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - A new study released Monday says baby fish around Hawaii are eating a large amount of plastic particles.

The study was published in the journal, “Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.”

The spike in plastic consumption by baby fish is likely because the surface slicks where they feed on plankton are polluted.

[Read more: In alarming discovery, scientists find plastic in the stomachs of baby fish off Hawaii]

NOAA researchers skimmed the slicks to collect their samples. The slicks had plastic densities 12 times higher than the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

“In general in the ocean, food is really sparse, really spread out. So this mechanism brings all that food resource together in a small area,” said Jamison Gove, NOAA oceanographer.

Microplastics were found in swordfish, mahimahi, flying fish and coral fish.

The discoveries may be alarming to some, but it’s unclear how this all affects the health of fish and Hawaii’s seafood supply.

Scientists worry it could impact the development of young fish.

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