This summer and fall, we have been collecting cod guts from the eastern and southern shores of the Avalon Peninsula to test them for plastics. Plastics are a contamination concern because they act like sponges for chemicals such as pesticides, flame retardants, plasticizers, and other persistent organic pollutants. We ask fishermen and women if they would like to name their fish so they can see if their particular fish has eaten plastics. The results are below– we are still going through samples and have done about 300 of the 400+ fish guts we’ve collected. “Suspected” means we think they might be plastic, but they are so small or difficult to identify that we need to do more analysis. “Confirmed” means we found plastics, like the one pictured below. We will update this page as we do more research.
Summary Table of Plastics Found
|LOCATION||# OF PLASTICS||# OF FISH SAMPLED||% OF SAMPLE|
|PORTUGAL COVE-ST. PHILLIPS||1||56||1.79|
Summary of Named Fish and Plastics (named fish only)
|LOCATION||FISH NICKNAME||# PLASTICS|
|QUIDI VIDI||NO NAME||1|
|PORTUGAL COVE – ST. PHILLIPS||FINNEGAN||0|
|PORTUGAL COVE – ST. PHILLIPS||TUCKER||0|
|PORTUGAL COVE – ST. PHILLIPS||DORY||0|
|PORTUGAL COVE – ST. PHILLIPS||MM/KJ||0|
|PORTUGAL COVE – ST. PHILLIPS||MATTY||1|
|PORTUGAL COVE – ST. PHILLIPS||TOBY||0|
|PETTY HARBOUR||FISHING FOR SUCCESS||0|
This project is lead by Jessica Melvin, a Masters student at the University Center of the Westfjords working out of the Civic Laboratory for Environmental Action Research (CLEAR) at Memorial University of Newfoundland. If you have any questions, you can contact her (jmelvin [at] mun.ca) or her supervisor, Dr. Max Liboiron (mliboiron [at] mun.ca).