Location

Parker-Reed, SSWAC

Start Date

1-5-2014 9:00 AM

End Date

1-5-2014 10:00 AM

Project Type

Poster

Description

Plastics are durable, cheap, and have high tensile strength resulting in their ubiquitous incorporation into society. There has been a rapid increase in plastic production worldwide. A significant amount of plastic waste, like other garbage, inevitably ends up in the worlds oceans. Marine species can be impacted by plastics by ingestion, entanglement, bioaccumulation, and even incorporation as a nesting material. This study aims to determine the effect of plastic on marine megafauna - namely seabirds, sea turtles and whales - using a variety of case studies worldwide. The percent of animals impacted by plastics was recorded from each case study. The results showed seabirds were most often impacted by ingestion, sea turtles by ingestion and occasionally entanglement, and whales by direct ingestion, entanglement, and possible bioaccumulation of persistent plasticizers and other organic chemicals. This analysis suggests that plastics in marine ecosystems are having a negative effect on marine megafauna in a number of ways, including decreased digestive function and entanglement.

Faculty Sponsor

Russ Cole

Sponsoring Department

Colby College. Environmental Studies Program

CLAS Field of Study

Interdisciplinary Studies

Event Website

http://www.colby.edu/clas

ID

603

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May 1st, 9:00 AM May 1st, 10:00 AM

Impacts of Marine Plastics on Seabirds, Sea Turtles, and Whales

Parker-Reed, SSWAC

Plastics are durable, cheap, and have high tensile strength resulting in their ubiquitous incorporation into society. There has been a rapid increase in plastic production worldwide. A significant amount of plastic waste, like other garbage, inevitably ends up in the worlds oceans. Marine species can be impacted by plastics by ingestion, entanglement, bioaccumulation, and even incorporation as a nesting material. This study aims to determine the effect of plastic on marine megafauna - namely seabirds, sea turtles and whales - using a variety of case studies worldwide. The percent of animals impacted by plastics was recorded from each case study. The results showed seabirds were most often impacted by ingestion, sea turtles by ingestion and occasionally entanglement, and whales by direct ingestion, entanglement, and possible bioaccumulation of persistent plasticizers and other organic chemicals. This analysis suggests that plastics in marine ecosystems are having a negative effect on marine megafauna in a number of ways, including decreased digestive function and entanglement.

http://digitalcommons.colby.edu/clas/2014/program/141