The fast-moving decline and extinction of many species of detritivores — organisms that break down and remove dead plant and animal matter — may have dire consequences, an international team of scientists suggests in a new study.
Updated 6:06 PM ET, Tue July 6, 2021
Brown trout suffered withdrawal after being exposed to methamphetamine, researchers found.
(CNN)Brown trout can become addicted to the illegal drug methamphetamine when it accumulates in waterways, according to new research.Researchers led by Pavel Horky, a behavioral ecologist from the Czech University of Life Sciences in Prague, set out to investigate whether illicit drugs alter fish behavior at levels found in bodies of water, according to the study published Tuesday.The team put 40 brown trout in a tank of water, containing a level of methamphetamine that has been found in freshwater rivers, for a period of eight weeks, before transferring them to a clean tank.
Researchers exposed 40 trout to methamphetamine for a period of eight weeks.Then every other day the researchers checked whether the trout were suffering from methamphetamine withdrawal by giving them a choice between water containing the drug or water without. A further 40 trout were used as a control group.
Trout that had spent eight weeks in water containing methamphetamine selected water containing the drug in the four days after moving to freshwater.
This indicates they were suffering withdrawal because they sought out the drug when it became available, according to the researchers.The team found that addicted fish were less active than those that had never been exposed to methamphetamine, and found traces of the drug in their brains up to 10 days after exposure.
The team concluded that even low levels of illicit drugs in bodies of water can affect the animals that live in them.Drugs excreted from users pass through sewage systems and then discharge from wastewater treatment plants, which are not designed to treat this kind of contamination, into waterways, according to the study.
“Fish are sensitive to adverse effects of many neurologically active drugs from alcohol to cocaine and can develop drug addiction related to the dopamine reward pathway in a similar manner as humans,” Horky told CNN via email.Horky raised concerns that drug addiction could make fish spend more time around water treatment discharges, which are unhealthy for them, in order to get another hit.”Such effects could change the functioning of whole ecosystems as adverse consequences are of relevance at the individual as well as population levels,” he said.Drug cravings could prove more powerful than natural rewards like foraging or mating, he added.The fish were later euthanized and their brain tissues analyzed.
The study underlines how humans pollute the natural environment beyond the noticeable things like oil slicks and plastic waste.Horky said the findings of this research had implications for the effects of prescription medicines such as fluoxetine, commonly known as Prozac, on aquatic life.”Current research from teams around the world undoubtedly shows their adverse impact on ecosystems, which in turn can influence humans,” he said.The study was published in the Journal of Experimental Biology.It’s not the first time aquatic life has felt the effect of human pharmaceutical use.
In May 2019, researchers in the United Kingdom announced they had found traces of illicit drugs, pharmaceuticals and pesticides in samples of freshwater shrimp.And in May 2018, scientists working in Puget Sound, an inlet of the Pacific Ocean along the northwest coast of Washington state in the US, said that mussels in the area had tested positive for the prescription opioid oxycodone.
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The June 2021 issue of the Susquehanna Ripples is now available and you can get your copy here
Sign Up Now for Fly Fishing Meet-Ups occurring in June in NEPA!
Location: Ricketts Glen State Park – Western Boat Launch
🎣Participants will be taught the basics of fly fishing including equipment overview, casting, & fly selection.
🎣PFBC staff provide all fishing equipment, flies, and instruction.
A FISHING LICENSE is not required; the equipment, flies and instruction are provided for FREE.
🎣Participants are encouraged to bring their own equipment. This is a great opportunity to bring your newly purchased fishing rod and learn how to use it!
🎣Pre-registration is required and can be completed at the (above) provided links.
On Sun., May 30, the PFBC will waive its license requirement, allowing anglers to fish within public waterways across PA without possessing a fishing license.
The second Fish-for-Free Day will happen on Independence Day, Sun., July 4.
Learn more: http://ow.ly/4WhM50EWHnr
THE LOYALSOCK CREEK WATERSHED ASSOCIATION PRESENTS THE 16TH ANNUAL CANE POLE FISHING DERBY AT ROSE VALLEY LAKE ON MONDAY, MAY 31ST FROM 8AM UNTIL NOON. WHILE THE DERBY IS AIMED AT PARTICIPANTS UNDER THE AGE OF 16 YEARS, EVERYONE INCLUDING FIRST TIME FISHERS IS INVITED TO ATTEND. AT REGISTRATION, CONTESTANTS WILL RECEIVE A FISHING PACKAGE THAT INCLUDES A CANE POLE, FISHING LINE, HOOK, BOBBER, BAIT AND ALL NECESSARY INFORMATION AND INSTRUCTIONS. AN EMBROIDERED, COLLECTIBLE PATCH CELEBRATING THE EVENT WILL ALSO BE ISSUED (FIRST 125 REGISTRANTS ONLY)
On May 25, House Republicans voted to pass House Bill 1144House Bill 1144 (Causer-R-Cameron) that would not only roll back environmental protection standards for conventional oil and gas wells generally, but would also specifically make road dumping of drilling wastewater legal again.
Gov. Wolf vetoed similar legislation in November. Read more here.
The bill now goes to the Senate for action.
Go to https://paenvironmentdaily.blogspot.com/2021/05/house-republicans-pass-bill-legalizing.html?m=1 for more information.