JOURNAL ARTICLE

Plastic ingestion by fulmars and shearwaters at Sable Island, Nova Scotia, Canada

Alexander L Bond, Jennifer F Provencher, Pierre-Yves Daoust, Zoe N Lucas
Marine Pollution Bulletin 2014 October 15, 87 (1-2): 68-75
25150895
Plastic pollution is widespread in the marine environment, and plastic ingestion by seabirds is now widely reported for dozens of species. Beached Northern Fulmars, Great Shearwaters, Sooty Shearwaters and Cory's Shearwaters are found on Sable Island, Nova Scotia, Canada regularly, and they can be used to assess plastic pollution. All species except Cory's Shearwaters contained plastic debris in their gastrointestinal tracts. Northern Fulmars, Sooty Shearwaters and Great Shearwaters all showed high prevalence of plastic ingestion (>72%), with Northern Fulmars having the highest number and mass of plastics among the species examined. There was no difference in plastic ingestion between sexes or age classes. In all species user plastics made up the majority of the pieces found, with industrial pellets representing only a small proportion in the samples. Sable Island could be an important monitoring site for plastic pollution in Atlantic Canada.

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