NUIG microplastic pollution

A previous study from Scottish fisheries has shown that prawns tend to ingest high concentrations of microplastic fibres when exposed to this type of pollution.” 

Results show that the Galway Bay prawn fishery may be experiencing high exposure to this form of pollution with “potential detrimental repercussions for this species including reduced fitness and potential reproductive failure,” she warns.

“More research is needed to understand the mechanisms influencing interactions of microplastics with individual species and ecosystems.”

Pollution from plastic entering into the ocean is regarded a global issue that impacts marine life at all trophic levels as well as economically important ecosystems. Microplastics (plastics smaller than 0.5mm) are widely dispersed throughout the marine environment. Understanding distribution and accumulation is crucial for gauging environmental risk.

The study investigated the history of microplastic deposition on the seafloor and examined how sedimentation regimes, proximity to densely populated areas and maritime activities, may impact microplastic pollution and deposition in marine sediments.