Preliminary Assessment of Microplastic Fibre Content in Aegean Sea Epipelagic Fish
Irving, K., Miliou, A., Vasić, M., Sainz, N., Anderson, L. and Weatherhead, W.
Global plastic production grows exponentially, as does the influx of macro and microplastics into the world’s oceans. The Mediterranean is considered one of the most highly exposed seas to plastic pollution. However, the impacts of microplastics on marine ecosystems, and their transport through the food web into man, are poorly understood. A reliable evaluation of the biological risks of microplastics, in particular a detailed monitoring of microplastics in the marine environments is therefore of foremost urgency. This study focuses on the analysis of microplastics in fish caught in the NE Aegean Sea, Greece. Microplastic fibre concentrations in three commercial pelagic/epipelagic fish species: Engraulis encrasicolus, Katsuwonus pelami, Scomber japonicus were assessed. The stomach contents of 47 adult fish individuals were analysed, and 89% contained microplastic fibres. However, no significant difference was shown between species in the microplastic quantity per individual. These results indicate the microplastic fibre prevalence in commercial, pelagic and epipelagic fish species from the Aegean.