Presenter/Author Information

Sarah Dudas, Vancouver Island UniversityFollow

Type of Presentation

Oral

Session Title

Plastic in the Salish Sea

Description

Microplastic pollution (particles < 5mm) is a growing concern in marine ecosystems, particularly because of its potential impacts on organismal health. Microplastic ingestion has been observed for a wide range of marine organisms including worms, bivalves and fish, including commercially valuable species and those consumed by humans. It is unclear if microplastics pose a threat to food safety and, at a larger scale, food security. Food security encompasses four dimensions including 1) Availability – food must be available based on food production, stock levels and trade, 2) Access – food must be physically (e.g. food supply) and economically accessible (e.g. affordability), 3) Utilization – the way the body uses nutrients combined with feeding practices, food preparation, diet diversity and household distribution of food will determine nutritional status of individuals and 4) Stability – the above three dimensions must be stable over time to ensure food security. Marine debris has the potential to affect the availability, use and stability dimensions of food security. This presentation will discuss how microplastics relate to each of these dimensions and, the level of risk this contaminant poses given the current status of knowledge.

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Are microplastics a risk to food security?

2016SSEC

Microplastic pollution (particles < 5mm) is a growing concern in marine ecosystems, particularly because of its potential impacts on organismal health. Microplastic ingestion has been observed for a wide range of marine organisms including worms, bivalves and fish, including commercially valuable species and those consumed by humans. It is unclear if microplastics pose a threat to food safety and, at a larger scale, food security. Food security encompasses four dimensions including 1) Availability – food must be available based on food production, stock levels and trade, 2) Access – food must be physically (e.g. food supply) and economically accessible (e.g. affordability), 3) Utilization – the way the body uses nutrients combined with feeding practices, food preparation, diet diversity and household distribution of food will determine nutritional status of individuals and 4) Stability – the above three dimensions must be stable over time to ensure food security. Marine debris has the potential to affect the availability, use and stability dimensions of food security. This presentation will discuss how microplastics relate to each of these dimensions and, the level of risk this contaminant poses given the current status of knowledge.