New research by scientists at the University of Exeter shows that there are hundreds of sharks and other marine animals including the breeds that have to withstand waste, often plastic, that get stuck in their bodies.
For example, the study considered the case of a mako shark found with a fishing rope wrapped tightly around its back. In this case, the shark had continued to grow and this had caused the rope to dig into his skin damaging its spine.
This waste, which can get caught in the body of fish, especially the larger ones, can cause pain, suffering and even the death of the animal, as noted by Kristian Parton, of the Center for Ecology and Conservation of Exeter, one of the authors of the study.
By reviewing various academic articles and reports on Twitter, the researchers found more than 600 cases of sharks and rays caught in plastic, very often fishing nets, in all the oceans of the world, from the Atlantic to the Pacific via the Indian Ocean.
Most of the objects that ended up entangled in the body of the fish consisted of phantom fishing gear, especially nets. There was no lack of other types of waste such as tire pieces, packaging waste or polyethylene bags.
The study was published in Endangered Species Research.
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