Bad barbecue

Fish naturally feed on its own kind, usually the smaller ones. Other similar aquatic animals feed on microscopic food called plankton and floating trash.

There’s one kind of fish that has a big appetite for nanosized pollutants. In fact, the robot fish developed by Chinese scientists from Sichuan University feed exclusively on microplastics, South China Morning Post (SCMP) reported, citing the researchers’ study published in the journal Nano Letters on 22 June.

“Microplastics are plastic fragments less than 5 millimeters long and can be easily ingested by a range of marine life, harming their health,” according to SCMP.

Such ocean pollutants pose danger to marine life, as well as humans who catch and eat seafoods. The Kyushu University in Japan in 2021 estimated the volume of microplastics in the oceans at 24.4 trillion pieces or about 30 billion 500-milliliter plastic water bottles.

Based on tests of the bot fish, it detects and absorbs microplastics in shallow water. Developers plan to improve the robot so it can work in deep waters.

People are less aware and concerned of microplastics in the food chain for the simple reason that they can’t see it. However, one Chinese vlogger, who didn’t mind doing so, found herself in trouble.

Microplastic ingestion is the least concerning for online influencer Tizi though. Authorities in Nanchong city are investigating her for a controversial video she posted on social media in July. With followers numbering nearly eight million, the video went viral, catching the attention of local media and police. It has since been deleted.

While there was nothing wrong in showing how to cut, marinate and cook a big fish as Tizi demonstrated in the video, netizens were nonetheless outraged for her choice of fish.

Moreso, Tizi ate the two-meter-long great white shark that she barbecued and made a comment that shocked many from her audience.

“It may look vicious, but its meat is truly very tender,” Tizi said, according to Agence France-Presse.

In China, great white sharks are listed as protected and possession of such fish is illegal. Violators can be jailed for five to 10 years.


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