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Plastic burdens in northern fulmars from Svalbard: looking back 25 years

Collard, France; Bangjord, Georg; Herzke, Dorte; Gabrielsen, Geir Wing


Tidsskrift: Marine Pollution Bulletin, vol. 185, 114333, 2022

Arkiv: hdl.handle.net/11250/3033440
Doi: doi.org/10.1016/j.marpolbul.2022.114333

The northern fulmar Fulmarus glacialis ingests a larger number of (micro)plastics than many other seabirds due to its feeding habits and gut morphology. Since 2002, they are bioindicators of marine plastics in the North Sea region, and data are needed to extend the programme to other parts of their distribution areas, such as the Arctic. In this study, we provide data on ingested plastics by fulmars collected in 1997 in Kongsfjorden, Svalbard. An extraction protocol with KOH was used and for half of the birds, the gizzard and the proventricular contents were analysed separately. Ninety-one percent of the birds had ingested at least one piece of plastic with an average of 10.3 (±11.9 SD) pieces. The gizzards contained significantly more plastics than the proventriculus. Hard fragments and polyethylene were the most common characteristics. Twelve percent of the birds exceeded the EcoQO value of 0.1 g.