Researchers have discovered that plastic waste deceives fish by giving off an odor similar to that of their food. Until now, scientists thought that fish swallowed plastic by accident. But a study published by the journal Royal Society Publishing has just put an end to this belief, the fish would be duped by the smell of plastic colonized by algae and bacteria, and swallowed it voluntarily. The scientists studied the reactions of a school of Anchovies, in contact with clean pieces of plastic and debris covered with algae. The scientists then found that the fish were rushing on the plastic from the oceans.
An alarming result
According to the researchers it is “the first experimental evidence that adult anchovies use odors to search for food”. These results show that the “chemical signature” of plastic waste at sea causes the school of anchovy to search for food. The plastic can not fall apart, but in the ocean it breaks up into small particles the size of the plankton that the fish eat. The debris will accumulate over time in the digestive system of the fish, which will no longer be able to feed properly and eventually die. This ingestion of plastic is not only deadly for fish, but also dangerous for the entire food chain, and therefore for humans!