Scientists: ‘Cocaine Sharks’ May Be Feasting Off Dumped Drugs

I am not making this up. Scientists think crazed and hungry sharks could be feasting on bales of hallucinatory drugs dumped off the Florida coast. Via The Guardian:

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

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

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

“If these cocaine bales are a point source of pollution, it’s very plausible [sharks] can be affected by this chemical. Cocaine is so soluble that any of those packages open just a little, the structural integrity is destroyed and the drug is in the water.”

Scientists: ‘Cocaine Sharks’ May Be Feasting Off Dumped Drugs

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