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Chamber and committees

Motion ref. S5M-07805

Report on the Threat that Marine Plastics Pollution Pose to Seabirds

Submitted by: Richard Lochhead, Moray, Scottish National Party.
Date lodged: Thursday, September 21, 2017

Supported by: Clare Adamson, Tom Arthur, Claudia Beamish, Colin Beattie, Graeme Dey, Kenneth Gibson, Jenny Gilruth, Clare Haughey, Alison Johnstone, Bill Kidd, Richard Lyle, Angus MacDonald, Fulton MacGregor, Ben Macpherson, Ruth Maguire, Gillian Martin, John Mason, Joan McAlpine, Liam McArthur, Ivan McKee, Stuart McMillan, Gil Paterson, Alex Rowley, Stewart Stevenson, Maree Todd, David Torrance

That the Parliament welcomes the recent paper by the seabird ecologist, Dr Nina O’Hanlon, and her colleagues at North Highland College UHI’s Environmental Research Institute, which was published in the journal, Environmental Pollution, and highlighted the threat of marine plastic pollution to seabirds in the north eastern Atlantic region; notes that data was collected from all known studies reporting instances of plastic ingestion and nest incorporation in seabirds around northern Europe, Scandinavia, Russia, Greenland, Svalbard, the Faroes and Iceland; understands that this research found that, out of 34 species investigated, 74% had ingested plastic, although only 16% of species had data on plastic ingestion for multiple countries across multiple years; notes the concerns raised by the study that plastic is a major threat to marine biodiversity as seabirds can ingest it, which can lead to a negative impact on their reproduction and survival; understands that the study highlights the need for multi-jurisdictional collaboration to obtain a better understanding of how this plastic is affecting the seabirds; commends the work of  Dr O'Hanlon and her team, and recognises the importance of this study in tackling a critical global environment issue.