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Plastic Trash Packs Stomachs of Northern Sea Birds

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According to Camille Bains of Canadian Press, the northern fulmars donít regurgitate the plastic bits they pick up. On the one hand, that means they donít pass them on to chicks. Unfortunately, the plastic can stay in their systems and causes blockages or illnesses.

North Sea scientists have been using beached northern fulmars to study plastic pollution for the last thirty years. The new study shows that plastic pollution in the Northwest is similar to that in the North Sea.

Stephanie Avery-Gromm, lead author and graduate student in the University of British Columbiaís Department of Zoology, said:

Like the canary in the coal mine, northern fulmars are sentinels of plastic pollution in our oceans. Their stomach content provides a Ďsnapshotí sample of plastic pollution from a large area of the northern Pacific Ocean.

Karen Barry of Bird Studies Canada, who co-authored the study added:

Beached bird surveys are providing important clues about causes and patterns of sea bird mortality from oil spill impacts, fisheries by-catch and now plastic ingestion.

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Photo 1: Non-food stomach content found in a northern fulmar in the UBC study. (Photo: StephanieAvery-Gomm, UBC); Photo 2: Northern fulmar photo via JAC6.FLICKR via Flickr Creative Commons

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64 comments

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11:48AM PST on Nov 20, 2012

It seems Corporate planetcide will be allowed as long as enough money is moving among the OnePercenters
----
Humankind has not woven the web of life.
We are but one thread within it.
Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves.
All things are bound together.
All things connect.
Chief Seattle, 1854
----
When all the trees have been cut down,
When all the animals have been hunted,
When all the waters are polluted,
When all the air is unsafe to breathe,
Only then will you discover
You cannot eat money.
Cree Prophecy
----
Treat the earth well.
It was not given to you by your parents,
it was loaned to you by your children.
We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors
We borrow it from our Children.
Ancient Indian Proverb
----
The price of anything is the amount of life exchanged for it

7:20PM PDT on Oct 1, 2012

horrible

7:19PM PDT on Oct 1, 2012

horrible

9:55AM PDT on Jul 11, 2012

I too am too stunned and angry for words. Humans continue to disgust me to no end. It's another IFHP day in the neighborhood.

To all humans: PICK UP YOUR TRASH, STOP USING PLASTICS, BE RESPONSIBLE STEWARDS OF THIS ONE AND ONLY EARTH.................

12:14PM PDT on Jul 10, 2012

Humans.... Hate plastics! boycott plastic! I try every day

7:12AM PDT on Jul 9, 2012

I have no words I'm so sad about this. :(

7:57PM PDT on Jul 8, 2012

Same old stories which happen repeatedly because of human. We must try to stop it immediately. Thank you for the post.

9:45AM PDT on Jul 8, 2012

this is old news but good to keep it alive, has the government raised the fine limits yet, I bet they have not, its cheaper to pay the fine and pollute the oceans than take responsibility for your actions

6:34AM PDT on Jul 8, 2012

Aaahhh!Plastic!So convenient and yet so deadly to everything in the environment,including us! Here are a few things you can do to boycott plastic.Don't buy plastic wrap,there are plenty of other ways to protect food,like china,glass or enamel containers!Take your own non-plastic plates,cutlery and cups when you go to an outdoor event!Use cloth bags!Never go to a Tupperware party and if you hold them,change your party to something environmentally friendly! There is so much plastic rubbish that will never break down;we should be ashamed at what we are leaving for future generations to clean up.What a disgrace yet there are still companies making billions of dollars out of this stuff.Consciences have been compromised to profits on so many issues that it's frightening.

7:16PM PDT on Jul 7, 2012

Sad.

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