THE EFFECTS OF ILLEGAL DRUG WASTES ON NATIVE FISH
New research has found dire effects of cocaine on European eels, traces of which usually get mixed into water as part of an illegal drug cycle.
Under the influence of cocaine, this endangered species of native fish is likely to be affected by an impaired reproduction along with some other critical physiological hazards. Cocaine enters the natural water world via wastewater, bringing these eels into direct contact with the drug.
European eels have already been declared as an endangered species due to complex patterns in their migration, and overfishing, as well as water pollution. The situation for these European eels has worsened in the recent times due to the high concentration of drugs in rivers.
What Do Studies Say?
A study was conducted on eels by putting in similar levels of cocaine in water (as found in rivers). After exposing the eels to water with traces of cocaine, significant changes in their condition was observed.
This sudden change in eels is instigated by an increase in a stress hormone that is said to induce fat consumption in their bodies. Under the influence of this drug, many of the bodily functions of these fish were found to be highly affected, including their brain, muscles, gills, skin, as well as hormones.
The influence of cocaine on these European eels is also found to result in severe muscle swelling and breakdown, another reason to worry about the wellbeing of this endangered species. Muscle swelling or breakdown directly restricts the ability of the eels to swim long distances directly affecting their migration practices.
Moreover, the breathing abilities of these eels are impaired under the influence of cocaine.
The Harm Caused
Significant changes noticed in eels under the influence of cocaine include;
- Hyperactive Behaviour
- Impaired Gills
- Muscle Swelling/Breakdown
- Hormonal Changes
- Impaired Reproduction
- Reduced Strength
The only solution to this problem lies in restricting illicit drug production along with the proper treatment of wastewater. There is a need for an active movement that works for restricting illicit drugs, not only for the well-being of humans but also for preserving the lives of many other water-dwelling creatures.
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