Are your fish eating plastic? We want to find out! We will be collecting fish guts during Newfoundland’s food fishery this summer (2015) to see if fish are ingesting plastics in this area. This is part of a larger project to investigate the state of marine plastic pollution in Newfoundland and Labrador, and to see how plastics behave in food chains.

Out of 205 fish guts we received, 5 had ingested plastics. That’s 2.4%, which is a lower ratio that most other studies of plastic ingestion in fish caught for food! At first we thought there was much more plastic because the naked eye cannot see as well as a microscope and cod fish eat a lot of odd things, but now we know there is a small percentage of plastics ingested, along with rocks, bones, shells, and other inorganic objects. If you provided us with some guts, your data is here. Thank  you! We will also hold a public meeting in Petty Harbour & St. John’s about what we find in January 2016.

If you have any questions about this project or if you want to receive a notice of the public meetings, you can contact us at

Cliff’s Fish PH67 Petty Harbour area 2
Anonymous-Portugal Cove PH92 Portugal Cove 1
Anonymous- Quidi Vidi SP141 Quidi Vidi 1
Johnny SP31 Portugal Cove 2
Nemo SP9 Bell Island 1
Bill Petty Harbour area 0
O’Dell Flatrock 0
JGK Petty Harbour area 0
Couper Petty Harbour area 0
Gay Petty Harbour area 0
George Petty Harbour area 0
Jackson Black Hole Top 0
Southern Gale Petty Harbour are 0
Dennis Portugal cove area 0
Dennis and Mike Portugal cove area 0
Freeman Portugal cove area 0
Stuart Portugal cove & Cove Port 0
Reg  Cove Port 0
Jim Dobbin Holes 0
Keith St. Phillips 0
Bayliner Cove Port 0
Photograph via a microscope of one of the pieces of plastic found in a cod fish. Image credit: Emily Wells.
Photograph via a microscope of one of the pieces of plastic found in a cod fish. Image credit: Emily Wells.

This project is based at the Memorial University of Newfoundland, and is funded by a Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) Insight Development Grant.


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