Seafood Industry Australia replies to “Classification of marine microdebris: A review and case study on fish from the Great Barrier Reef, Australia”, Frederieke J. Kroon, Cherie E. Motti, Lene H. Jensen and Kathryn L. E. Berry, as published in Scientific Reports
Seafood Industry Australia (SIA), the national peak body representing the Australian seafood industry, has called for more research to be done following the recent finding of microplastics in the gut of juvenile coral trout on the Great Barrier Reef.
“This research is a cause for concern, but ultimately more research needs to be done,” SIA CEO Jane Lovell said.
“The study’s authors made note that the fish were not affected by the micro-debris, but we’d like to see more research done looking at what the long-term effect, if any, of ingesting plastics is on spawning and fish mortality.
“It’s important to note the study did not show there was any impact or effect on human consumers, as the debris was detected in the gut of the fish which is removed before consumption.
“Really, this needs to be seen as a call to the community to be really conscious of the amount of plastics they are consuming, how they are consuming it and most importantly how they are disposing of it. It comes back to the age-old mantra to ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’.
“People need to take responsibility for their own consumption of plastics and take the steps to make changes, irrespective of plastic-bans and legislative enforcements.
“The microplastics found in the study came predominantly from domestic, land-based and/or shipping-based sewage discharges, and international sources that may be delivering fibres to the Great Barrier Reef through oceanic or atmospheric transport.
“Just like the broader community, Australia’s professional fishers care about the health of Australia’s oceans and environment, and we encourage others to do the same.”