Floating trash is a huge problem facing fish and other animal populations around the world. One specific example of this is the Pacific Ocean Garbage Patch. Tons of debris is left floating in the oceans and fish are certainly at risk on consuming something that should have never made it into their habitat.
A fish that consumes trash is certainly at risk of dying. This has been seen in a number of cases concerning fish and countless other marine animals. Fish are also at risk of becoming contaminated. Once these fish consume toxic waste, fishers have no way of knowing who or who hasn’t consumed that material. People buy fish every day and we may not be exactly sure what we are ingesting.
In terms of large littered material, prenda11 covered it well. Unfortunately, much smaller particles are equally concerning: for instance, 10% of all plastic ends up in the ocean, and breaks down into tiny particles. Those particles are inadvertently consumed by fish feeding on plankton and the levels of toxins in fish increases. When fish eat other fish, the effect worsens; eventually, the poisonous plastic reaches too high a threshold and kills the fish. Given that humans enjoy eating fish, it would be in the best interests of fish and ourselves to stop dumping anything into the ocean.
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