Plastics found in 50 dead dolphins, seals and whales tested in British waters


Researchers from the University of Exeter and Plymouth Marine Laboratory, supported by Greenpeace Research Laboratories, examined 50 animals from 10 species of dolphins, seals and whales, and found microplastics (less than 5mm) in all of them. Plastics found included synthetic fibers — which can come from sources including clothes, fishing nets, and toothbrushes, as well as fragments —  which can come from food packaging and plastic bottles.

In response to the news, Louise Edge, head of Greenpeace UK’s ocean plastics campaign, said: “It is ominous that every single marine mammal tested was found to have microplastics in their digestive system, and it shows the scale of plastic pollution in our seas. This is yet more evidence that governments and big businesses need to focus their efforts on drastically reducing the use and waste of plastics, to stem the flow of plastic pollution into our rivers and oceans and into the mouths of marine wildlife.

Greenpeace USA Plastics Campaigner Kate Melges said: “Study after study reveals that marine animals all over the world are ingesting plastics at a disturbing rate. Plastics have been found in the deepest point in the ocean, the Mariana Trench, and in remote waters in the Antarctic. And it’s not just marine animals that feel the impacts of plastics; they’ve been found in our tap water, our food, and even the air we breathe. Corporations that continue to churn out endless cheap plastics for profit are complicit in the destruction of our earth. It’s time to end our reliance on throwaway plastics for good.

For more information about Greenpeace visit their website by clicking here.

Images: Frogfish Photography

Nick and Caroline Robertson-Brown

Nick and Caroline Robertson-Brown

Nick and Caroline Robertson-Brown are a husband and wife team of underwater photographers. Both have degrees in environmental biology from Manchester University, with Caroline also having a masters in animal behaviour. Nick is a fellow of the Royal Photographic Society in underwater wildlife photography and he also has a masters in teaching. They are passionate about marine conservation and hope that their images can inspire people to look after the world's seas and oceans. Their Manchester-based company, Frogfish Photography, offers a wide range of services and advice. They offer tuition with their own tailor made course - the Complete Underwater Photography Award. The modules of the course have been written to complement the corresponding chapters in Nick's own book: Underwater Photography Art and Techniques. They also offer equipment sales and underwater photography trips in the UK and abroad. For more information visit

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