Marine Researcher Finds Plastic in Tuna Gut Off Lebanese Coast
When Michel Bariche cut open the giant Bluefin tuna he had caught, it was like breaking open a pinata.
“We found candy, chocolate and gum wrappers,” said the marine biologist, who fishes as a hobby, describing the plastic litter that spilled from the fish’s guts.
“No one has ever seen plastic in tuna [in Lebanon] as far as I know,” he said.
The Bluefin tuna is listed as an endangered species, however, the fish is considered a delicacy and is often used in sushi.
Bariche, who is a professor at the American University of Beirut, said although the discovery was “not scientific” as he happened to come across it on a fishing trip, he aims to raise awareness by sharing it on the Facebook page Lebanon Sea.
According to Bariche, there is no local research on the impact of plastic pollution in the sea on marine life, as experts in the field are scarce.
“I don’t have any record of plastic in fish. It could be that someone has seen it earlier, but it’s not something common.
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