Alarming level of pharmaceutical drugs in bonefish: Study
A research project tests over 90 bonefish for over 100 pharmaceuticals and finds that all samples had at least one drug in their system.
A new study in Florida, called The Bonefish Pharmaceutical Contaminants Study, revealed an alarming level of pharmaceutical drugs in bonefish.
Conducted by Bonefish & Tarpon Trust and Florida International University’s Coastal Fisheries Research Lab, the three-year research project tested over 90 bonefish for over 100 pharmaceuticals and found that all samples had at least one drug in their system.
The study tackled the occurrence of pharmaceutical drugs in bonefish in South Florida and the Caribbean, as well as the effect they have on fishing.
The study revealed that an average of seven drugs were found in bonefish, with one fish containing as many as 17 pharmaceuticals in its system.
According to researchers, the most common medications found were blood pressure medication, anti-depressants, pain relievers, antibiotics, and prostate medication.
The researchers indicated that bonefish are inhaling a small amount of the drugs through preying and contaminated water.
Although humans do not typically consume bonefish, the fish's digestion of the drugs can lead to further problems in the Atlantic Ocean's ecosystem, as researchers underlined that all prey tested "contain the same types of pharmaceuticals as detected in bonefish."
The study warned that the issue poses a significant threat to recreational saltwater fishing, which supports about 89,000 jobs and brings in $9 billion to the industry.