DTP student, Alex McGoran’s (Cohort 4) journal article about her research on microplastic contamination in Thames crabs was published, open access, this year (2020) in Environmental Pollution.
Alex dissected 135 crabs (invasive Chinese mitten crab, Eriocheir sinensis and native shore crab, Carcinus maenas) from Erith, Kent / Essex in the Thames Estuary, UK. She examined the stomach, intestine and gills. A total of over 800 pieces of plastic were recovered from the crabs, the majority of which were fibres likely from washing machine outflows. Tangles of these fibres formed in the stomach of ca. 10% of shore crabs and 95% or mitten crabs. These tangles sometimes filled the stomach, some consisting of over 100 pieces of plastic. With stomachs fill of plastic, it is likely that the crabs had a reduced urge to feed and may have less energy for growth and reproduction.
Alex has a CASE partnership with The Fishmongers’ Company.
Please see here for the full article: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2020.114972