A study by Scottish scientists has found that 83% of Langoustines, also known as Scampi or Norway lobster, have indigestible plastic fibres in their stomachs, usually in the form of clogging balls. The impacts on their health are unknown, but Buglife - The Invertebrate Conservation Trust wants more action to protect the fishery and other wild animals from plastic pollution.
Langoustine (Nephrops norvegicus) is the most valuable species to UK fisheries, bringing in £95.8 million in 2009, about the same as cod, haddock, plaice and monkfish all put together.
Fibres are thought to come from fishing nets and particularly 'chafers' that are designed to drag along the sea bed and shed fibres of plastic.
Buglife calls for a solution to plastic fibre pollution and for more research to understand how the build up of plastic in the guts of crabs and shrimps affects their health and survival rates.
For more information please contact Craig Macadam or Matt Shardlow on 01733 201210
The paper: Murray, F. and Cowie, P.R. (2011). Plastic contamination in the decapod crustacean Nephrops norvegicus (Linnaeus, 1758). Marine Pollution Bulletin.
Click on the link to view the marine management organisation - UK Sea Fisheries Statistics 2009.