Are you eating fish or plastic?

Think you are consuming fresh and safe fish? Think again! One of the main issues gripping the seafood industry is the amount of microplastics being found inside the fish and other seafood items we all love to eat!

Plastic litter in the oceans has started to become more recognized as a major environmental concern now. The gastrointestinal tract from a large number of fish species has been investigated for the presence of microplastics.  

Microplastics are basically tiny pieces of plastic (a distinction based on size alone) that are found in the ocean. Continually broken down by the elements over time, larger pieces of plastic become smaller and smaller. Microplastics are small enough to be ingested by sea animals, including those that end up on our plates. Microplastics are often defined between 0.1 and 5000 µm. ‘Nano plastics’ is sometimes used to describe even smaller pieces of plastic, between 0.001 to 0.1 µm (less than one millionth of a meter). After more than 70 years of manufacturing plastic, the world has finally started to take notice of this mammoth of a problem.

The severity of the issue is such that microplastics are found everywhere in the ocean, floating at the surface, mixed in with the water column and some are denser than water and sink to the seafloor. Plastics have been discovered thousands of feet down in the deepest reaches of the ocean. Even the arctic and Antarctica have become dumping grounds for these tiny plastics.

Researchers are trying to understand the true impact of microplastics on marine and human life. However, there is evidence that that microplastics and Nano plastics can move from a fish’s stomach to its muscle tissue, which is the part that humans typically eat. There is also indication that mothers may be able to pass microplastics through the placenta to a developing fetus. A chemical named Styrene, found in plastic and some food packaging, has been linked to a number of health issues, including nervous system problems, hearing loss and cancer.

Owing to the gravity of the situation, Gold River Seafood is the sole organization to address this issue at the earliest. Our endeavor is to supply fish that can be labeled Microplastic Free Fish. We owe it to the planet and our health.

 

Ateetmani Brar, Marketing & Communications coordinator , GRS. 

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