IMARES has joined the Norwegian Polar Institute (NPI) in Tromsö in a project that aims to learn more about plastic pollution in the Arctic.
This research has resulted in a first publication on plastic ingestion by fulmars on Spitsbergen, Svalbard: Elevated levels of ingested plastic in a high Arctic seabird, the northern fulmar (Fulmarus glacialis).
Even at considerable distances from ‘civilization’ fulmars have considerable amounts of plastics in their stomachs. In future, this project aims to investigate the potential transfer of chemicals from plastics to the birds: some first results are given in NPI Report 2014-029: Plastic ingestion by Northern Fulmars, Fulmarus glacialis, in Svalbard and Iceland, and relationships between plastic ingestion and contaminant uptake. .