SOURCE: ABC News (Australia)

DATE: November 21, 2019

SNIP: Researchers at Monash University have found the behaviour of fish can change if they ingest pharmaceuticals, such as antidepressants that have been incorrectly disposed of.

The research published in the Biology Letters journal revealed that psychoactive pollutants can change the behaviour and mood of wildlife — just like it does to humans.

Monash University Professor Bob Wong said the research focused on many different pharmaceuticals including antidepressants, such as Prozac.

Professor Wong said the results were alarming.

“What we found was that exposure of mosquitofish to Prozac actually disturbs the normal group foraging behaviours of these fish,” he said.

“Exposure of fish to antidepressants disturbs ecologically important behaviours, such as escaping from predators.”

Professor Wong said research conducted in Victoria at Monash University last year found that multiple species had ingested antidepressants.

“It’s actually moving from the aquatic realm into the terrestrial realm because these stream insects emerge, obviously contaminated.

“These researchers also estimated that, based on how much platypuses are consuming, some platypuses in some of these streams will be consuming almost half a human daily dose of antidepressants every single day — that’s really alarming.”