Plastic-Eating Corals Discovered on Great Barrier Reef

“Corals are non-selective feeders and our results show that they can consume microplastics when the plastics are present in seawater.” Researchers have found that corals found on the Great Barrier Reef will eat micro-plastic pollution. Researchers aimed to determine whether the corals from inland reefs consumed microplastics and whether there is a potential for plastic pollution to affect the coral reefs. They performed a study by taking parts of a coral reef and putting them into plastic contaminated water. They found that after two nights in the water, the coral had eaten plastic particles. As well as, that the corals ate plastic at rates only slightly lower than their normal rate of feeding on marine plankton. Dr. Hoogenboom, one of the leaders in the research said that they will also test to see if fish that live on the reef eat plastic particles too, and if they do, does it impact the fish’s growth and survival.

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