From our houses to the sea, from the sea to the belly of the fish, from the belly of the fish to our table.

We are what we eat, but in this case … we eat what we are.

Marine plastic pollution is increasingly recognized as one of the greatest threats to the oceans of the world, but also to humans who depend on the oceans. A study by Alice K. Forrest and Mark Hindell of the University of Tasmania for the Australian Journal of Maritime and Oceans Affairs documents the ingestion of plastic by 24 species taken or sold for human consumption in the South Pacific. The fish was taken from local fishermen and markets in remote places, including French Polynesia, Lord Howe Island and Henderson Island.

The gastrointestinal tracts of 126 fish were examined visually and plastics were found in 7.9% of individual fishes and 25% of species. Mainly it is microplastic and there was no significant difference in plastic ingestion in terms of food style, length, region or species. Which means that plastic is spreading rapidly regardless of species, lifestyles or habitats.

The study is the first report about plastics in South Pacific fish, therefore concerns raise about the transfer of pollutants in a region that is largely oceanic and heavily dependent on marine food. The remote locations referred to by the study prove the broad nature of the problem.

It was 1997 when Captain Charles Moore found in the North Pacific an accumulation of plastic larger than Texas (Texas measures 695.662 km², so not a small matter), what is now known as the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch”, which according to the latest information has expanded over time. No more Texas, but more than Spain, France and Germany together. Expansionist aims, who has none?

20 years later, in 2017, Captain Moore was always the one to discover a similar accumulation in the South Pacific. Presences that obviously affect the food chain. Plastic in the sea: we think of the raw material, the currents think of the accumulation.

From our houses to the sea, from the sea to the belly of the fish, from the belly of the fish to our table.

We are what we eat, but in this case … we eat what we are.

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