Suffolk Shrimp Contaminated With Cocaine And Ketamine

When studying the effects of pesticide and pharmaceuticals on marine life, one can’t imagine to find traces of cocaine or ketamine.

But that’s exactly what was found in Suffolk’s shrimp.

Samples of shrimp pulled from 15 locations across Suffolk, all tested positive for the illicit drugs. Compounds such as ketamine and fenuron were also found to be widespread in the tested shrimp.

Lead author, Dr Thomas Miller from King’s said: “Although concentrations were low, we were able to identify compounds that might be of concern to the environment and crucially, which might pose a risk to wildlife.”

Miller is unsure as to how the illicit drugs entered the shrimp.

A burning question of how the drugs entered the system of the shrimp, is unknown.

Dr Leon Barron from King’s said: “Such regular occurrence of illicit drugs in wildlife was surprising. We might expect to see these in urban areas such as London, but not in smaller and more rural catchments.

“The presence of pesticides which have long been banned in the UK also poses a particular challenge as the sources of these remain unclear.”