Scientists’ plea on threat to ocean giants


    Scientists are calling for research on the impacts of microplastics on whales, sharks and rays that strain tiny food, like plankton, out of seawater, BBC reports.

    They say the ocean giants face “significant risks” from microplastics. Estimates suggest some whales may be ingesting hundreds of fragments of plastic a day. The Gulf of Mexico, the Mediterranean Sea, the Bay of Bengal and the Coral Triangle are priorities for monitoring, according to a review of studies. Researchers from the US, Australia and Italy looked at data on threats to large filter feeders from microplastics.

    These small plastic pieces less than five millimetres long can be harmful to the ocean and aquatic life. Contamination from microplastics has the potential to further reduce the population sizes of the large filter feeders, they say.

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