Abstract / Description of output
The aim of this study was to determine the extent Nephrops consumes plastics in the Clyde Sea and if this intake occurs through their diet. Plastic contamination was found to be high in Nephrops, 83% of the animals sampled contained plastics (predominately filaments) in their stomachs. Tightly tangled balls of plastic strands were found in 62% of the animals studied but were least prevalent in animals which had recently moulted. No significant difference in plastic load was observed between males and females. Raman spectroscopy indicated that some of the microfilaments identified from gut contents could be sourced to fishing waste. Nephrops fed fish seeded with strands of polypropylene rope were found to ingest but not to excrete the strands. The fishery for Norway lobster, Nephrops norvegicus, is the most valuable in Scotland and the high prevalence of plastics in Nephrops may have implications for the health of the stock.