Whales and seals Indigenous partnerships One Health

No accumulation of microplastics detected in western Canadian ringed seals (Pusa hispida)

Jardine, A.M., Provencher, J.F., Insley, S.J., Tauzer, L., Halliday, W.D., Bourdages, M.P., Houde, M., Muir, D. and Vermaire, J.C.


Abstract

Ringed seals (Pusa hispida) play a crucial role in Arctic food webs as important pelagic predators and represent an essential component of Inuvialuit culture and food security. Plastic pollution is recognized as a global threat of concern, and Arctic regions may act as sinks for anthropogenic debris. To date, mixed evidence exists concerning the propensity for Canadian Arctic marine mammals to ingest and retain plastic. Our study builds on existing literature by offering the first assessment of plastic ingestion in ringed seals harvested in the western Canadian Arctic.

We detected no evidence of microplastic (particles ≥80 μm) retention in the stomachs of ten ringed seals from the Inuvialuit Settlement Region (ISR) in the Northwest Territories, Canada. These results are consistent with previous studies that have found that some marine mammals do not accumulate microplastics in evaluated regions.

Recommended citation

Jardine, A.M., Provencher, J.F., Insley, S.J., Tauzer, L., Halliday, W.D., Bourdages, M.P., Houde, M., Muir, D. and Vermaire, J.C. (2023). No accumulation of microplastics detected in western Canadian ringed seals (Pusa hispida). Marine pollution bulletin. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpolbul.2023.114692

Stephen Insley

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William Halliday

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