First detection of plastic microfibers in a wild population of South American fur seals (Arctocephalus australis) in the Chilean Northern Patagonia

D. J. Perez-Venegas, M. Seguel, H. Pavés, J. Pulgar, M. Urbina, C. Ahrendt, C. Galbán-Malagón

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The dramatic increase of microplastics (plastic fragments <5 mm) in marine environments is a problem that has attracted public attention globally. Within the different types of microplastics, microfibres are the least studied (size <1 mm). We examined 51 female scats from a population in Northern Patagonia. Our results showed no presence of microplastic particles, however 67% of them showed a remarkable abundance of microfibers, which until now had only been reported in animals fed in captivity. As a result of this work we propose that the examination of scats from South American Fur Seal and also other pinnipeds could be an efficient tool to monitor environmental levels of microfibres and maybe microplastics in the environment due to the easy recognition of the animals and their scats.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)50-54
Number of pages5
JournalMarine Pollution Bulletin
Volume136
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2018

Keywords

  • Environmental monitoring
  • Microfibres
  • Microplastics
  • Pinnipeds
  • Scats

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oceanography
  • Aquatic Science
  • Pollution

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