Another year Secured!

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’

1 bit microplastic

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!!

Trawlshare continues…

Just a quick update on our Cornwall Marine Microplastics Researchers Trawlshare project.
We have conducted 7 trawls so far!
We have been very lucky with funding from The Bedruthan Hotel,  Sea Changers and now Natural England too.
We have trawls booked up to October so far and we are also able to trawl when Cornwall Seal Group are seal surveying.
We are finding microplastics in the category ‘line’ and ‘ fragment’ mostly so far but we still have many more trawls to do and it will be interesting to see if this changes with the winter season.
We have also used the trawl in a plastics talk given by Newquay Marine Group to Tretherras School.  We were able to show them how it works and show some of the microplastics its collected.
The project will continue to March 2018 however we have emailed 5Gyres to see if they would consider extending the lean of the trawl for another year.
We’ll keep you posted!
Thank you everyone who is helping x
#5GyresTrawlshare #Bedruthan #Seachangers #NaturalEngland #Cornwallsealgroup #Newquayseasafarisandfishing #StAgnesVMCA #Polzeathmarinegroup
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The Story so Far….

Newquay Marine Group has formed a coalition with St Agnes Marine GroupPolzeath Marine Conservation Group,  The Cornwall Seal Research Trust and Newquay Sea Safaris and Fishing.  We have called ourselves the Cornwall Marine Microplastics Researchers (CMMR).

In December 2017  we applied to an organisation in California called 5 Gyres , to see if we could be part of their project Trawlshare. In March 2018 we received a fabulous high speed surface trawl through the post!

DSC_0434 DSC_0491 Continue reading “The Story so Far….”

The Birth of the Cornwall Marine Microplastics Researchers (CMMR): Citizen Science at its best:

Over lunch at the Your Shore Beach Ranger conference this year, a group of us discussed doing some survey work. Research into the plastic issue that we can see quite clearly on our beaches… What about the things we can’t see? Would it be possible to do some research out on the boats?


Continue reading “The Birth of the Cornwall Marine Microplastics Researchers (CMMR): Citizen Science at its best:”