Plastic waste and marine wildlife

Dossier

Plastic waste and marine wildlife

Annually between 5 and 13 million tonnes of plastic are lost from land to sea and end up as what is known as ‘the plastic soup’. Marine birds and other wildlife accidentally ingest plastic litter or become entangled. Wageningen Marine Research investigates the impact of plastic debris on the marine environment and its wildlife.

Seabirds and other marine wildlife may ingest plastic debris or become entangled in it. Wageningen Marine Research is founder of a permanent monitoring program of the amount of plastic in stomachs of Northern Fulmars in the North Sea.

This research approach has been copied into the European Marine Strategy Directive (MSFD) as a basis for litter monitoring in other European seas. That may involve ingestion of plastics by other bird species, turtles, mammals and fish in European waters and elsewhere. In addition, entanglement issues and distribution of debris in marine and coastal environments have our attention. 

News about plastic waste and marine wildlife

News 2017

News 2016

News 2015

News 2014

News 2013

News 2012

News 2011

News 2010

News 2009

Articles

(in journals, news, magazines, and newspapers)

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

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2008

Reports

2016

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2008

Publications

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

  • Plastic in North Sea Fish E.M. Foekema, C. de Gruijter, M.T. Mergia, J.A. van Franeker, A.J. Murk & A.A. Koelmans. (2013) Environmental Science and Technology 47: 8818–8824.

2012

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2009

Posters and fact sheets

Presentations

Radio & TV

Films

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