Monday blues were far away this week as microplastic surveying took to the water. I had the fantastic opportunity to join Universities from Liverpool and South Connecticut as they sampled surface water of the fjord for microplastic. This is a great addition to my honours project, the aim of which is to assess the risk of microplastic ingestion to the many bird species here in Skálanes.
The boat set out from the dock in Seyðisfjörður, and with my sea legs a little rusty it was a surprise that I didn’t take a dunk in the fjord, or at least fall over on the deck. Nevertheless, the microplastics team successfully completed two transects, one over the effluent pipe with the highest chance of finding microplastics, and one in the middle of the fjord.
As the boat we used is normally a fishing vessel we were joined by many hungry fulmars and kittiwakes, as well as a few gulls, hopeful for fish scraps. It was fantastic to see these birds up close, as they usually stay out on the cliff, where unsurprisingly, close ups are rather difficult to get.
The data from this exciting and productive day will be a great addition to the sediment samples I (and my very lovely team) have so far collected from the beach and marshland, to assess whether feeding location of birds affects risk of ingesting microplastic.