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Study: One-Third Of Local Fish Ingesting Plastic

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(Getty Images)

(Getty Images)

LONG BEACH (CBS/AP) — Floating plastic is finding its way into the mouths of more sea life off of the Southern California coast, according to a new study.

Researchers from two local marine life groups say about a third of the fish collected in the northern Pacific Ocean had plastic in their stomachs.

The Long Beach-based Algalita Marine Research Foundation and the Costa Mesa-based Southern California Coastal Water Research Project says the study shows the troubling effect floating litter has on marine life.

The study says about 35 percent of the fish collected during a 2008 research expedition had ingested plastic.

Researchers trawled 1,000 miles off the coast for fish living among floating debris in an area known as the Eastern Garbage Patch.

The Los Angeles Times says the fish each ingested an average two pieces of plastic, but plankton-eating lanternfish each had up to 83 plastic fragments.

Researchers are sharing their findings at Friday’s Plastics Are Forever International Youth Summit in Long Beach.

(TM and © Copyright 2010 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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