Researchers have discovered that human-made mercury pollution has reached the deepest region of the Marianas Trench Ocean. The new discovery puts forth new questions on how mercury might affect the ocean environment and if it has affected the food cycle.
Mercury consists of poisonous properties and a few kinds of fish assimilate methylmercury in the contaminated water. The marine animals that are on the higher level of food chain likely gather even higher mercury levels via a procedure called biomagnification.
Two teams of researchers have independently discovered evidence of methylmercury and human-made mercury pollution both 11,000 metres deep down the Pacific Ocean.
As per Dr Ruoyu Sun, who led a researchers’ team from China’s Tianjin University, previous study had revealed that methylmercury was produced mostly in the ocean’s top few meters. This might have restricted mercury bioaccumulation as the fish that forage deep down this level would have little chances of methylmercury ingestion, added Dr Sun. However, with this discovery, the researchers now believe the old theory is not true, continued Dr Sun.
The new study reveals that manmade mercury pollution now has reached the food chains in even the remote marine ecosystem on our planet than what was previously thought.
The study findings were presented at Goldschmidt Conference 2020.