[MARMAM] New publication: No evidence of microplastics in Antarctic fur seal scats

Odei Garcia-Garin odei.garcia19 at gmail.com
Mon Jun 22 02:39:34 PDT 2020


Dear MARMAM list members,

On behalf of my co-authors, I am pleased to share our recent study: No
evidence of microplastics in Antarctic fur seal scats from a hotspot of
human activity in Western Antarctica

Garcia-Garin, O., García-Cuevas, I., Drago, M., Rita, D., Parga, M., Gazo,
M., Cardona, L. (2020). No evidence of microplastics in Antarctic fur seal
scats from a hotspot of human activity in Western Antarctica. Science of
the Total Environment, 737, 140210.
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.140210

Abstract:
Microplastics are present in almost all seas and oceans, including the
Southern Ocean. To the south of the Antarctic Polar Front, microplastics
are present mainly west to the Antarctic Peninsula, but information is
scarce about their impact on the pelagic food web. Here, we analysed 42
scats of male Antarctic fur seals (Arctocephalus gazella) collected in late
summer at Deception Island (South Shetland Islands), which allowed us to
assess the presence of microplastics in the pelagic food web of the
Bransfield Strait (Western Antarctica). Furthermore, we analysed the hard
remains of prey in the scats to characterize the diet of fur seals. Hard
remains recovered from the scats revealed that male Antarctic fur seals
foraged on krill and myctophid fishes during late summer. Fourier-transform
infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR) revealed that none of the seven fragments and
three fibres recovered from their scats were microplastics, but rather were
silicate minerals and chitin. These results suggest that the levels of
microplastic pollution in the pelagic food web of the Bransfield Strait are
extremely low.

The paper can be accessed using the following link:
https://authors.elsevier.com/a/1bHCAB8ccoHEV

Or send me an e-mail (odei.garcia at ub.edu) for the full text.

All the best,

Odei Garcia-Garin
-- 
Odei Garcia-Garin, PhD student

Departament de Biologia Evolutiva, Ecologia i Ciències Ambientals,
Facultat de Biologia, Institut de Recerca de la Biodiversitat (IRBio),
Universitat de Barcelona (UB), Barcelona, 08028.
+34 695100641
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