Microplastics in Shellfish Aquaculture

NIC is testing the polymer degradation of anti-predator netting used in shellfish aquaculture around the Comox Valley on Vancouver Island. A methodology is being developed to evaluate the different ages of netting and to determine which additives and/or microplastics from the netting leach into the water during their lifespan.

Project Dates: February 7, 2022 – June 30, 2022
Number of Student Researchers: 2

Project Summary

This project is focused on the degradation of polymer anti-predator netting used in shellfish aquaculture around Vancouver Island. Two experiments have been proposed to evaluate the various types and concentrations of microplastics and/or additives leaching into the ocean from anti-predator netting. In the first experiment, anti-predator netting of different ages will be tested and evaluated for the degradation of its mechanical properties. In the second experiment, used and new anti-predator netting will be tested to determine the levels of leaching of certain additives often used in UV-resistant coatings.

Research Team

Logan Zeinert
Logan Zeinert, Lead Researcher
Logan hails from New Zealand but completed his master’s degree at Memorial University in Newfoundland and Labrador. Logan has extensive marine surveying and aquaculture research experience and is an accomplished diver.
Tel: 250-923-9700 ext. 7882
Maxime Boufflette
Maxime Boufflette, Student Researcher
Maxime is an international student from Belgium and currently in his third year of Environmental Technology studies at UC Leuven-Limburg. He is completing an internship at NIC as part of his degree and is driven by his passion for nature.
Wouter Jansen
Wouter Jansen, Student Researcher
Wouter hails from Belgium and is a third-year Environmental Technology student at UC Leuven-Limburg. He is currently in an internship at NIC as part of his degree. Wouter is grateful to be a part of a project with real-life applications and hopes to continue doing similar work in the future.