Fish are becoming easier to catch ‘because traces of anti-depressants are getting into water supply’

‘Making them more relaxed’

UK Daily Mail
Feb 16, 2013

Sleeping pills may be disturbing river ecosystems by turning fish into greedy, risk-taking loners, say researchers.

Scientists studied the behaviour of perch exposed to a sedative which is carried into waterways through sewage.

The drug, a benzodiazepine used to treat anxiety and insomnia called oxazepam, made the fish bolder and less social.

They left the safety of their schools to forage alone – making them vulnerable to predators – and also ate more quickly than normal.

‘Normally perch are shy and hunt in schools,’ said study leader Dr Tomas Brodin, from Umea University in Sweden.

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