Scientists: ‘Cocaine sharks’ could feast on undervalued drugs

Scientists: ‘Cocaine sharks’ could feast on undervalued drugs

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I did not invent. Crazed, hungry sharks may be feasting on bullets of hallucinogenic drugs dumped off the coast of Florida, scientists believe. Via The Guardian:

Yet while Cocaine Sharks – a highlight of Discovery’s upcoming Shark Week – does indeed examine whether ocean predators are eating floating pharmaceuticals thrown overboard by passing traffickers, the marine scientists who made the TV program say its purpose is beyond free entertainment.

“It’s a catchy headline to shed light on a real problem, which is that everything we use, everything we make, everything we put into our bodies ends up in our sewage and natural water bodies, and that aquatic life that we depend on to survive is then exposed to that,” said Florida-based environmental engineer and lead research team member Dr. Tracy Fanara.

“We’ve seen studies on pharmaceuticals, cocaine, methamphetamines, ketamine, all of that, where fish are [affected] by drugs.

“If these cocaine bullets are a point source of pollution, it is very plausible [sharks] may be affected by this chemical. Cocaine is so soluble that any of these packages crack open a bit, the structural integrity is destroyed, and the drug is in the water.