Many of the world’s marine fish spend the first days to weeks feeding and developing at the ocean surface. However, very little is known about the ocean processes that govern larval fish survivorship and hence adult fish populations that supply essential nutrients and protein to human societies. We demonstrate that surface slicks, meandering lines of convergence on the ocean surface, are important larval fish nurseries that disproportionately accumulate nonnutritious, toxin-laden prey-size plastics. Plastic pieces were found in numerous larval fish taxa at a time when nutrition is critical for survival. Surface slicks are a ubiquitous coastal ocean feature, suggesting that plastic accumulation in these larval fish nurseries could have far reaching ecological and socioeconomic impacts.
We’ve reached such a breaking point. Excellent work from amazing Scientists. So sad to see. Vote with your dollars! Single use has its place, but we can be the change we want to see.