Truth Theory: According to a new study published on Tuesday in Frontiers in Marine Science, manta rays and whale sharks in Indonesia are consuming between 63 and 137 pieces of plastic pollution per hour.
A team of scientists from Marine Megafauna Foundation and Murdoch University, determined this number by collecting and counting plastic waste fragments in the water around reefs across Indonesia, where whale sharks and mantas are known to feed. Then they took their samples back to the lab to find out how much plastic pollution was in these feeding areas.
Marine biologist Elitza Germanov, who led the study, says that they used a fine-meshed plankton net to collect the plastic waste from the feeding areas.“We separate the plankton and other natural material from the plastic using gravity and sea water. Basically, plankton sinks and plastic floats,” Germanov told Earther.