Abnormal behaviors are analyzed by scientists.
Marine experts have warned that sharks off the coast of Florida may be ingesting drugs released into the ocean. Smugglers are trying to get them to America. Strange behaviors were observed in these animals, which allowed us to hypothesize whether these behaviors were the result of cocaine ingestion.
Recent events are investigated by marine biologist Tom Hirt and environmental engineer Tracey Fanara. According to GuardianThe entire investigation process will be depicted in a documentary entitled “Tubarões Cocaína”.
“It’s a fascinating topic to shine a light on a real issue: everything we use, everything we produce, everything we put into our bodies ends up in our wastewater streams and natural waterways, and the aquatic life we rely on to survive is exposed to it,” said Tracy Fanara.
During a six-day investigation at sea in the Florida Keys, researchers observed a hammerhead shark, which normally swims away from humans, heading straight for divers and moving in an odd manner. They also observed a great white shark swimming in circles while focusing on an imaginary object.
Experiments have been carried out such as dropping packs of dummies into the water and being bitten by several sharks. Also bait balls containing highly concentrated fish powder to simulate cocaine were thrown into the sea. According to scientists, the effect is similar to kittenhood in cats. “It’s the next best thing [e] It set their brains on fire. It was crazy,” Tom Hird says on the show Guardian.
According to the environmental engineer, the Florida Keys were the location chosen for the analysis because the convergence of ocean currents was “significant” for floating packets of cocaine. Florida serves as a staging point for large quantities of drugs entering the United States from South America, and plastic-wrapped packets of cocaine are often lost by smugglers or dumped at sea.
Last month, the U.S. Coast Guard announced that it had seized $186 million worth of illegal drugs in waters off the Caribbean and South Florida. But these seizures have little impact on an industry running at record levels.
“When we were filming in the Keys, there were packages of cocaine twice a week, so that was a big problem,” Tracy Fanara said, adding that preliminary tests could not determine how much cocaine the sharks actually consumed.
“At the end of every research publication you read ‘more research needs to be done,’ and that’s undoubtedly the conclusion reached,” the researcher said, adding that previous, in-depth studies of polluted inland waterways suggested that fish became addicted to methamphetamines.
In the coming months, Tracy Fanara plans to work with other Florida marine scientists to collect blood samples from some of the sharks to assess cocaine levels.
For the environmental engineer, it is important that people understand the threat that water pollution poses to marine life and Earth’s fragile marine ecosystem.
“We are in the sixth mass extinction, and if we introduce more chemicals and more radical changes, the situation becomes more dangerous,” the researcher warned.
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