alexa Plastic ingestion by harbour seals (Phoca vitulina) in The Netherlands.
Environmental Sciences

Environmental Sciences

Journal of Pollution Effects & Control

Author(s): Bravo Rebolledo EL, Van Franeker JA, Jansen OE, Brasseur SM

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Abstract Abundance of ingested debris by seals has been mentioned as a potential indicator of marine litter in the European Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD). A sample of 107 stomachs, 100 intestines and 125 scats of harbour seals from the Netherlands was analysed for the presence of plastics. Incidence of plastic was 11\% for stomachs, 1\% for intestines, and 0\% for scats. Younger animals, up to 3 years of age, were most affected. This is the first quantitative study of plastic ingestion by phocid seals. The observed level of incidence is of environmental concern, but is low in the sense of suitability of seals for MSFD monitoring purposes. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. This article was published in Mar Pollut Bull and referenced in Journal of Pollution Effects & Control

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