Microplastics Found in Every Marine Mammal Surveyed

Microplastics are widely ingested by marine mammals, with samples found in every animal examined in a recent UK study.

Researchers examined 50 stranded animals including porpoises, dolphins, grey seals and a pygmy sperm whale, it was the most comprehensive study of microplastics in the digestive tracts of wild cetaceans and seals. Dolphins and seals are good indicators of marine ecosystem health because of their long lifespans and as top predators, they are susceptible to accumulating pollutants like plastics.

On average, 5.5 particles were found in the guts of each animal, nylon made up around 60% of the microplastics found. Polyester was also widely found.

 

 

Photo: “microplastic analysis” by Proyecto LIBERA is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

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