Presentation Title

The presence of microplastics in juvenile Chinook salmon and their nearshore environments

Session Title

Plastic in the Salish Sea

Conference Track

Fate and Effects of Pollutants

Conference Name

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference (2016 : Vancouver, B.C.)

Contributing Repository

Digital content made available by University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Type of Presentation

Oral

Abstract

Microplastics are an emerging problem in the world’s oceans. These small plastic particles (size) can be produced from primary or secondary sources and are becoming globally ubiquitous in the marine environment through inputs such as wastewater discharge, coastal litter and industrial materials. Microplastic ingestion has been documented in a variety of marine species ranging from zooplankton to fish to marine mammals. Potential risks from microplastic consumption occur through internal physical damage (e.g., abrasion or blockage) and/or chemical damage. Microplastics can host concentrations of persistent organic pollutants several orders of magnitude higher than ambient marine waters. Ingestion of microplastics by lower trophic level organisms can provide an entry point for these chemicals and plastics to amplify through the food chain. This project focuses on ingestion of microplastics by juvenile Chinook salmon in nearshore areas where they reside upon leaving their natal stream. Specific project objectives are to determine the incidence and quantity of microplastics in juvenile Chinook salmon and their associated nearshore environments (water and sediment) in order to determine microplastics “hotspots” and potential sources. We completed a series of beach seines, plankton tows and sediment cores along the east coast of Vancouver Island in nearshore areas of particular importance to juvenile salmon. Because microplastic work is still in its infancy, method testing is currently ongoing to develop an accurate, cost effective and efficient protocol to isolate microplastics from biological tissue, water and sediment. Once completed, this study will allow us to assess the distribution of microplastics in important nursery habitats and aid further research into microplastics as a potential threat to juvenile Pacific salmon.

Rights

This resource is displayed for educational purposes only and may be subject to U.S. and international copyright laws. For more information about rights or obtaining copies of this resource, please contact University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA 98225-9103, USA (360-650-7534; heritage.resources@wwu.edu) and refer to the collection name and identifier. Any materials cited must be attributed to the Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference Records, University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Language

English

Format

application/pdf

Type

Text

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The presence of microplastics in juvenile Chinook salmon and their nearshore environments

2016SSEC

Microplastics are an emerging problem in the world’s oceans. These small plastic particles (size) can be produced from primary or secondary sources and are becoming globally ubiquitous in the marine environment through inputs such as wastewater discharge, coastal litter and industrial materials. Microplastic ingestion has been documented in a variety of marine species ranging from zooplankton to fish to marine mammals. Potential risks from microplastic consumption occur through internal physical damage (e.g., abrasion or blockage) and/or chemical damage. Microplastics can host concentrations of persistent organic pollutants several orders of magnitude higher than ambient marine waters. Ingestion of microplastics by lower trophic level organisms can provide an entry point for these chemicals and plastics to amplify through the food chain. This project focuses on ingestion of microplastics by juvenile Chinook salmon in nearshore areas where they reside upon leaving their natal stream. Specific project objectives are to determine the incidence and quantity of microplastics in juvenile Chinook salmon and their associated nearshore environments (water and sediment) in order to determine microplastics “hotspots” and potential sources. We completed a series of beach seines, plankton tows and sediment cores along the east coast of Vancouver Island in nearshore areas of particular importance to juvenile salmon. Because microplastic work is still in its infancy, method testing is currently ongoing to develop an accurate, cost effective and efficient protocol to isolate microplastics from biological tissue, water and sediment. Once completed, this study will allow us to assess the distribution of microplastics in important nursery habitats and aid further research into microplastics as a potential threat to juvenile Pacific salmon.