Please select your home edition
Edition
Ancasta Ker 40+ 728x90

Yes, that seabird off your bow probably has plastic poisoning.

by . on 6 Sep 2011
Watching seabirds is a favourite pastime of many cruising sailors - but did you know most are poisoned? .. .
They might look happy and free, but those seabirds off your bow are probably suffering from plastic poisoning. The vast collections of plastic in our oceans have long been reported by roving sailors and the number of investigations as to their effects on fish and birds are growing. Now there is a new one in waters near Australia, conducted by a Tasmanian researcher, with alarming results.


Marine Biologist Dr. Jennifer Lavers is leading a number of research projects that are investigating the impacts of marine debris ingestion by Australia’s seabirds.

Daily, more than eight million pieces of plastic enter our oceans, and each day, more than 200 seabird species ingest plastic after mistaking it for food floating on the ocean surface.

Plastic contains numerous toxic chemicals used during the manufacturing process. It also collects further toxins while floating at sea.

Once ingested, plastic can block or rupture a seabird's digestive tract and leak these toxins into the bird’s blood stream.

The result is ulcers, liver damage, infertility, and in many cases, death.

Dr. Lavers’ ongoing research on Lord Howe Island has found that 90% of Flesh-footed Shearwaters (Puffinus carneipes) have plastic in their stomachs.

Analysis of feathers from these same individuals found more than 40 heavy metals, including mercury and arsenic, in their bodies.

In Tasmania the Short-tailed Shearwater P. tenuirostris also suffers from plastic ingestion.

A new project launched in 2011 and supported by the Tasmanian Museum will investigate whether this species is also at risk from heavy metal contamination and what this means for the local environment.

Read Jennifer's latest paper on her work, 'Trace Element Concentrations in Feathers of Flesh-footed Shearwaters (Puffinus carneipes) from Across Their Breeding Range'. Alexander L. Bond & Jennifer L. Lavers, by http://www.tmag.tas.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0008/38627/Bond__Lavers_10_-_FFSH_metals.pdf!clicking_here.

She can be contacted via email: Jennifer.Lavers@tmag.tas.gov.au

Zhik Yachting 660x82InSunSport - NZAncasta Ker 33 660x82

Related Articles

2015 -16 Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - This day last year…
Around St Katharine Docks, air was full of nervous energy and a sense of anticipation as Clipper Race crew said goodbye 2015 -16 Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - Around St Katharine Docks, the air was full of nervous energy and a sense of anticipation as the Clipper 2015-16 Race crew said goodbye to the thousands of well-wishers that gathered to bid them farewell on their round the world adventure.
Posted on 31 Aug
America's Cup - Advice for young Sailors
Hear the America's Cup skippers' advice for young sailors looking to follow in their footsteps. Hear the America's Cup skippers' advice for young sailors looking to follow in their footsteps. Interviewers talk with Dean Barker, Jimmy Spithill, Glenn Ashby, Iain Percy and Ben Ainslie and get their advice, plus how and when they started sailing.
Posted on 30 Aug
Volvo Ocean Race - Enright and Towill ready to go again in 2017/18
Team Alvimedica skipper Charlie Enright and his long-time buddy Mark Towill are eager to put their experience to use. Team Alvimedica were the youngest team in the race last edition, and now skipper Charlie Enright and his long-time buddy Mark Towill are eager to put that experience to use. Volvo Ocean race's Jonno Turner caught up with Mark and Charlie to chat about everything from the transition back into 'real life', their reflections on the 2014-15 campaign - and the future.
Posted on 29 Aug
America's Cup - Oracle Team USA's AC50 well underway in Warkworth
Oracle Team USA’s new America’s Cup Class boat is taking shape at the team’s build facility in New Zealand Oracle Team USA’s new America’s Cup Class boat is taking shape at the team’s build facility in New Zealand, Core Builders Composites, Warkworth, 40 minutes north of Auckland. The major components for the 15-meter platform, including the hulls and cross beams, have now been built.
Posted on 28 Aug
America's Cup - Oracle Team USA play catch up with Softbank Team Japan
Back in April 2017, Softbank Team Japan mastered the foiling tack in their AC45 Surrogate boats Back in April 2017, Softbank Team Japan mastered the foiling tack in their AC45 Surrogate boats, claiming to be the first AC team to have achieved the move. Two days later Oracle Team USA claimed to have done the same.
Posted on 28 Aug
Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - Crew catch up - Meet Dhruv Boruah
After crew members have completed their global ocean adventure, some go back to their previous lives and occupations After crew members have completed their global ocean adventure, some go back to their previous lives and occupations, some decide on a future in the marine industry, some take time out to assess their next move in life and others seek their next challenge.
Posted on 27 Aug
SoftBank Team Japan achieve first foiling tack
SoftBank Team Japan announced today that they cracked foiling tack earlier this year while training with their AC45 boat SoftBank Team Japan announced today that they cracked the foiling tack earlier this year while training with their AC45 Sport test boat in Bermuda.
Posted on 26 Aug
The Clipper Race turns 20!
Throughout the race, tales of crew celebrating birthdays on board filter back and they are always a special occasion Throughout the race, tales of Clipper Race crew celebrating their birthdays on board filter back and they are always a special occasion, likely to remain a completely unique event in their lifetime.
Posted on 23 Aug
America's Cup - Architect of NZ Qualifier withdrawal steps down
The Commissioner for the America's Cup General Dr. Harvey Schiller has stepped down from the role The Commissioner for the America's Cup General Dr. Harvey Schiller has stepped down from the role and will finish at the end of the month. The move was confirmed today by America's Cup correspondent Bernie Wilson of the Associated Press.
Posted on 23 Aug
An Q&A with Steve and Heidi Benjamin about the NYYC’s 2016 Queen’s Cup
Sail-World caught up with Steve and Heidi Benjamin to learn more about Heidi’s historic win in the NYYC’s Queen’s Cup. When it comes to U.S. Grand Prix sailing, it’s hard not to encounter the names of Steve and Heidi Benjamin. The two highly polished sailors have been successfully campaigning their series of yachts, named SPOOKIE, for years, starting first with a Carkeek 40 and progressing to their TP52. I caught up with Steve and Heidi to learn more about Heidi’s historic win in the NYYC’s Queen’s Cup
Posted on 19 Aug