October 31, 2022
blue whale feeding

Blue Whales Consume Microplastic Particles by the Billion

The age of humans, termed the Anthropocene, might just as well be considered the age of plastic. The dangerously durable material, made ubiquitous in products and packaging through the late 20th century, has inundated our planet’s environment. Today, miniscule plastic pieces are present in deep-ocean sediment, high-mountain snow and just about every place in between. Plastic waste has also entered the marine food web, and according to new research, baleen whales are ingesting staggering quantities.  Blue whales off the California coast may consume as many as a billion pieces, or up to several tons, of microplastic in the course of a summer feeding season, according to a paper published today in Nature Communications.  The authors of the paper, led by Cal State Fullerton...
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