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Variation in Microplastics Content Detected in Commercially Important Marine Species of the Eastern Aegean Sea.

 

Title:
Variation in Microplastics Content Detected in Commercially Important Marine Species of the Eastern Aegean Sea, Greece (2018).
Authors:
E. Faraggiana, G. Pietroluongo, B. Quintana, K.G. Dexter, H.Moore  and  A. Milou
Abstract:
The increasing abundance of marine plastic debris is a global threat to biodiversity and it represents a concerning issue in areas such as the Mediterranean Sea (Deudero and Alomar, 2015). This study aims to provide an evaluation of microplastics distribution throughout the trophic chain, by analysing a range of edible marine species inhabiting different water columns levels across the Eastern coast of Samos Island, in the Eastern Aegean Sea (Greece). The gastrointestinal tract of 27 specimens were analysed; including four commercial fish species (Sarda sarda, Sphyraena viridensis, Boops boops, Diplodus annularis) and two edible invertebrate species (Paracentrotus lividus, Ostrea edulis). All individuals showed signs of plastic contamination, with a total of 1302 microplastic items recorded and identified between all 27 examined samples. A significant variation in microplastic abundance across four different habitats (water column levels) was recorded, with semi-pelagic, omnivorous fish species reporting a consistently higher number of microplastic items than both demersal fish and benthic invertebrate species (ANOVA: F(3,22) = 4.970, p = 0.010). Plastic fibres were ubiquitous in all samples analysed and represented the most abundant typology of plastics detected. The results of this study prove the undeniable persistence of microplastics across the water column and throughout the marine trophic chain. It is not only the serious implications on all marine life that requires prompt safety actions to be taken, but also the potential effects on the health of seafood consumers that represents a crucial priority for future investigations