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An image of plastic pollution in the oceans

SciShorts: Ocean Microplastics – A Threat to Marine Species

A recent study led by researchers in Murdoch University, Australia revealed that marine filter-feeders – species that filter food from water with their throat – are at risk due to the toxic chemicals present in the tons of microplastics ingested them. Marine filter feeders generally need to swallow thousands of cubic metres of water daily to capture enough plankton required for their diet. Thus they ingest microplastics directly from the polluted water or from contaminated planktons. The hazardous chemicals in plastics get accumulated over time in feeders like whales and can result in serious concerns like stunted growth, altered development and reproductive problems.