New study finds most UK sharks have ingested plastics

August 3, 2020 – A new study has found most sharks in the United Kingdom have consumed microplastics and other man-made fibers.

Scientists from the University of Exeter examined 46 sharks from four species that live near the seabed: the small-spotted catshark, starry smooth-hound, spiny dogfish and bull huss.

Sixty-seven percent of the sharks examined had the microplastics or man-made fibers in their guts and a total of 379 particles were found. Many were from fishing lines and nets, but it also included debris from disposable face masks.

While it isn’t clear what impact this has on the sharks, scientists say these findings show “the ubiquitous nature of plastic pollution.” It is concerning, as these microplastics could ultimately be consumed by humans. In the U.K. many fish and chip shops actually use shark meat relabeled under another name.

Another study out of the U.K found many of the fish called huss and rock salmon were actually sharks and 90 percent of samples were actually a globally threatened shark species of called spiny dogfish. ~Brie Davis