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When eating clams you are also eating plastic

By our Expedition Plastic Plastic Change focuses on the size of the problem with micro plastic entering the food chains. Therefore we catch “lysprikfisk” (myctophidae) during the expedition. Over years plastic in the marine environment is degraded into micro plastic and becomes accessible/comsumable to organisms such as plankton and fish plus filtrators like bivalves (mussels a. o.)*. Unfortunately we know very little about what becomes of this micro plastic and if a larger transport goes on in the food chains. There are indications showing that fish eat micro plastic. 

 

There is a need for much more knowledge about what really happens, when plastic degrades and accumulates in marine organisms. On the expedition to Midway we will therefore, with a specially developed light weight trawl, catch the little “lysprikfisk” (myctophidae). It migrates up to 800 meters up and down through the water column night and day. A behaviour reasoned by escaping to get devoured in the top of the water column in daylight, but also a behaviour that possibly indicates transportation of plastic down into deeper waters. It occurs in so big numbers among deep sea fish in the oceans that it is a very suitable indicator for how much plastic is absorbed and potentially can be transferred to the deep sea and other links in the food chain.

 

This project is carried out in collaboration with University of Aarhus.