When we last updated, we were looking to extend for another year. Well, 5 Gyres have agreed that we can keep the trawl for another year. This is, we think, the first time they have allowed such an extension and we are so excited! This will allow more trawls, more volunteers and a much more robust data set.
We have since completed 12 trawls and analysed the contents. Cornwall College students have also been out to do a trawl.
Time is not the same when you are sorting through a sample. Three hours can go by in two minutes!
The sample is collected in the ‘ cod end’ of the trawl net. Everything in the cod end is tipped into a sieve and dried out. Using tweezers, magnifying glasses, a micropscope and a few other bits and bobs, we look for and remove any pieces of microplastics ( 5 mm or less) and microplastics ( bigger than 5 mm). We categorise them, weigh them and record them. It is difficult, fragile and fiddly work. lots of tea is needed!
The categories that come up a lot are ‘fragment’ and ‘line’
We have been on Radio Newquay talking about the Trawlshare Project and there has been real interest within the group so we will be holding another training session in 2019. Plus we will be trying to find more funding to help us rent out the boat – so… if you know someone with some money!!