CBC discusses how research finds that fishing gear is a major source of ocean microplastics in Atlantic Canada. Researcher says microplastics ‘end up ubiquitously across the marine environment’. The study can be found here.
Two years ago, researchers collected microplastics from pristine surface waters at three nearshore locations in Nova Scotia and Newfoundland, finding tiny and unrecognizable fragments, threads and fibres in every trawl.
Chemical analysis has now identified the synthetic polymers that made up those miniscule pieces of plastic and confirmed what was expected: the microplastics were shed from easily recognized sources.
“Fishing gear, fishing rope, fragments of nets and particles that would come from that kind of activity, that is a big source of microplastics,” said Ariel Smith, the coastal and marine team lead for Coastal Action, the environmental group that is leading a three-year Atlantic Canadian microplastics research project.