Mikroplast i tumlare - Metodutveckling i sökandet efter mikroplaster i tarminnehåll från tumlare
Sammanfattning: An ever-growing problem is the increasing amount of microplastics in the sea and how they affect marine organisms. Microplastics are small pieces of plastic that are between 0.1 - 500 micrometres. They are divided into primary and secondary microplastics. Primary microplastics are those plastics that are intentionally produced to be microplastics. Secondary microplastics are generated from larger plastic products that degrade over time to smaller pieces by weather and wind. It has been shown that both types accumulate and remain in aquatic ecosystems where the plastic can bind and release environmental toxins into the environment. Porpoises are a small whale species that lives around the coast of Sweden. Theyare a top predator and usually lives in coastal habitats, which makes them extra sensitive to human activities such as unintentional bycatch during fishing that leads to drowning and environmental toxins that impair their reproductive organs and make them less resistant to disease. There are three porpoise populations in the Swedish waters, of which the Baltic Sea population today only consists of a few hundred individuals. It is classified as critically endangered, and measures are required for them to remain in the future. It has never before been investigated whether marine mammals around the coast of Sweden have microplastics in their intestinal system. This study aims to develop a method for analysing whether microplastics are present in the intestinal contents of porpoises. By reducing the organic material in the intestinal samples using hydrogen peroxide> 30%, filter it through metal filters and analyse it in stereo magnifier. The results showed that several particles could be identified as primary and secondary microplastics in all samples examined.
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