A fisherman working off the coast of Tenerife caught more than he bargained for when he cut open his catch of the day to reveal a stomach full of plastic waste as these images show.
Gabriel, who preferred not to reveal his last name, 34, was fishing while his pals were surfing in the tourist zone of Playa de las Americas in the south of Tenerife, the largest of the Spanish Canary Islands.
As seen in these photos he caught a sea bass that had a stomach full of plastic waste and rubbish, including parts of a cigarette packet.
Speaking about the shocking moment he made the discovery, he told Newsflash: “I was fishing and I noticed my catch appeared to be full of plastic, I was pushing its stomach and instead of caving in, it was moving laterally.
“A friend who was in the area offered me a knife to cut it open and it was full of plastic, there was no food there at all.
“I have seen small pieces of plastic inside fish before but always with food in the stomach too.
“I’ve never seen anything like this, it was brutal, I did not expect that in the fish.”
Meanwhile, he went on to criticise the state of the beach where he made the discovery on the British holiday destination.
He told Newsflash: “That beach is very dirty, especially in one part, as the current where the waves are surfed do not let the rubbish go to the other part of the beach”, he added regarding the situation of that beach.
“There are bottles, condoms, food, mobile phones everywhere as the area is full of tourists.”
His friend Maria, who preferred not to reveal her last name, filmed the moment he ripped open the fish’s gut and pulled out the waste.
She told Newsflash: “Gabriel is fishing his whole life, he thought there would probably be plastic that the fish had eaten but we never thought we were going to find this”
In response to claims that the group of friends staged the incident, she said: “Of course ignorant people will attack us, but the real concern is that we are eating microplastics and causing illnesses in our children and grandchildren.
“It is such a shame. What we throw in the sea, we end up eating.”
Netizen ‘SilviaAlbg’ commented: “If we are what we eat, I do not think we will have too much time left destroying the planet while also killing ourselves.”
‘Rethsee’ said: “Things have got out of control. Thank God there are some people raising awareness, but the planet is almost lost for good…”
‘Esteelacarrasco’ wrote: “I hope the guy picked up all that plastic he threw in the water afterwards.”
Playa de las Americas is a purpose-built holiday resort in the municipality of Arona in South Tenerife. It features bars, nightclubs, restaurants, attractions and a coastline that is widely used by surfers.