How to collect guts for science

How to collect guts for science

We are collecting fish, bird, and seal guts this season (2019-2020) in Newfoundland and Labrador to see what they’re eating, and specifically to look for plastics. If you fish or hunt, we’d love to have your guts! What we need: A frozen bag of guts (from the mouth to the anus) and corresponding information (per animal). We will arrange pick up of the guts. Findings from your guts will be posted on this website, used to write scientific papers, inform policymakers, and propose plans for plastic pollution control in the province and municipalities.

Bagging: Get the entire gut, from the mouth to the anus. Place the gut inside a sealed, leak-proof plastic bag (like a ziplock or a plastic bag tied off at the end). While we prefer one bag per gut (to help when we defrost them), a bunch of guts from the same species caught in the same area on the same day is also fine. Write the information below on the outside of the bag with a permanent marker and/or on paper and put inside the bag.

Tagging: We need the following information:

  • Species (Cod? Char? Harbour seal?)
  • Location caught (Black Tickle? Cox Island? Petty Harbour?). If you have lat/long, great. If not, the name of the place is fine.
  • Date caught, including year.
  • If possible: sex of the animal
  • If possible: length or weight of the animal
  • If you want the results, make sure your name and preferred contact information is included

Freezing: Please freeze the guts unless you know we can come by the same day.

Contact our community coordinator, Natasha Healey if you have questions or want to arrange pick up (naahealey@mun.ca 709 699-7369)

guts diagram