Ecosystem overviews

Azores Ecosystem Overview

Pressure: Marine litter

Marine litter derives from land, discarding at sea, or brought from outside the ecoregion by oceanic currents. The accidental ingestion of debris has been recorded in birds, turtles, and some fish in the Azores ecoregion; this may cause an obstruction in the digestive tract leading to death. There is no record of macroplastics being found in stranded marine mammals in the Azores. Birds and turtles may become entangled in lost fishing gear.

​Plastic fragments were found in 93% of the stomachs of Cory's shearwater fledglings found dead, but there is no evidence that the fragments themselves caused death. The effect of microplastics across the marine foodweb of the Azorean ecosystem is uncertain.​

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Azores Ecosystem Overview

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