Article

Are we eating plastic-ingesting fish?

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Abstract

Yes, we are eating plastic-ingesting fish. A baseline assessment of plastic pellet ingestion by two species of important edible fish caught along the eastern coast of Brazil is described. The rate of plastic ingestion by king mackerel (Scomberomorus cavalla) was quite high (62.5%), followed by the Brazilian sharpnose shark (Rhizoprionodon lalandii, 33%). From 2 to 6 plastic resin pellets were encountered in the stomachs of each fish, with sizes of from 1 to 5 mm, and with colors ranging from clear to white and yellowish. Ecological and health-related implications are discussed and the potential for transferring these materials through the food-chain are addressed. Further research will be needed of other species harvested for human consumption.

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... As plastic usage increases, much of the waste is flowing into the soil and sea [2,5]. Plastic waste decomposes into micro-plastics, and marine animals can mistake them for food. ...
... Plastic waste decomposes into micro-plastics, and marine animals can mistake them for food. This causes them damage or death and can accumulate through the food chain and can even threaten human health [2,5]. ...
... Miranda and de Carvalho-Souza [5] reported a very high micro-plastic intake rate in king mackerel (Scomberomorus cavalla) and Brazilian sharpnose sharks (Rhizoprionodon lalandii) captured on Brazil's east coast. Various studies have reported that humans are eating fish that have consumed microplastic [5][6][7]. ...
Article
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Background: Due to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), worldwide face mask use is increasing exponentially. These face masks are difficult to recycle, and their accumulation contributes to enormous environmental threats. In this study, we hypothesize that the face mask can be reused as long as it retains its original structure, which will slow the environmental impacts. Materials and Methods: We selected common disposable surgical masks for this study and classified test conditions based on wear time and reuse method. After wearing the mask for 10 hours, we let it dry naturally in the shade for 14 hours. The specimens were measured by scanning electron microscope and capillary flow porometer. Results: The pore structure of the mask did not change when worn 4 times for 10 hours each time, and there was no significant pore structure change when impregnated with ethyl alcohol (purity 95%), treated with UV or steam, or run through a washing machine. Conclusion: The pore structure of the surgical mask was not changed significantly after 40 hours of use. Surgical mask pore structure did not change significantly after treatment with ethyl alcohol, UV light, steam, or a washing machine.
... Such colour change has been associated with increased absorption of pollutants; with darker pellets showing higher concentrations of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs; Endo et al., 2005) and (dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethanes [DDTs]; Frias et al., 2010). Increased toxicology in darker plastic particles may be a major concern given that a diverse suite of biota are exposed to these materials through accidental ingestion and trophic transfer (Miranda and de Carvalho-Souza, 2016) and some groups show comparatively greater consumption rates for darker, in particular yellow and red coloured materials (Acampora et al., 2014). These concerns highlight the need to improve our understanding how PAH concentrations vary with resin type and colour (i.e., degree of environmental exposure) and how this may influence pollution and toxicological monitoring. ...
... The observed increases in heavy molecular weight PAHs for darker pellets (orange/dark red), in particular indeno(1,2,3-c,d)pyrene is of concern given its known carcinogenic effects on animals (Gehle, 2009). Coupling this with the widespread rates of accidental ingestion by a wide range of marine species (Miranda and de Carvalho-Souza, 2016;Van Cauwenberghe and Janssen, 2014;Cole et al., 2015;Gall and Thompson, 2015;Santos et al., 2015), and given that consumption rates may actually be greater for darker particles (i.e., yellow and red fragments; Acampora et al., 2014) confirms that microplastics represent an important pathway for PAH incorporation by marine biota. This highlights the imperative to improve our understanding how PAH concentrations vary with resin type and colour (i.e., the level of exposure, age and persistence of microplastics) for pollution and toxicological monitoring. ...
... This highlights the imperative to improve our understanding how PAH concentrations vary with resin type and colour (i.e., the level of exposure, age and persistence of microplastics) for pollution and toxicological monitoring. The transfer of plastic particles through food webs (from prey to predator) may also ultimately impact human health as these particles and their contaminants are increasingly seen in the stomachs of commercially valuable fish species in Brazil and elsewhere (Miranda and de Carvalho-Souza, 2016). ...
Article
This study assessed the concentration and composition of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) in plastic pellets, collected from sandy beaches and considered different resin and colour tones. Results showed that polyethylene pellets, while displaying a greater range of total PAH concentrations did not differ significantly from polypropylene pellets. More importantly, both resin types demonstrated predictable increases in total PAH across a spectrum of darkening colour tones. Multivariate comparisons of 36 PAH groups, further showed considerable variability across resin type and colour, with lighter coloured pellets comprising lower molecular weight, while darker pellets contained higher weight PAHs. Overall, we show predictable variation in PAH concentrations and compositions of plastic pellets of different ages and resin types that will directly influence the potential for toxicological effects. Our findings suggest that monitoring programs should take these attributes into account when assessing the environmental risks of microplastic contamination of marine and coastal habitats.
... As plastic usage increases, much of the waste is flowing into the soil and sea [2,5]. Plastic waste decomposes into micro-plastics, and marine animals can mistake them for food. ...
... Plastic waste decomposes into micro-plastics, and marine animals can mistake them for food. This causes them damage or death and can accumulate through the food chain and can even threaten human health [2,5]. ...
... Miranda and de Carvalho-Souza [5] reported a very high micro-plastic intake rate in king mackerel (Scomberomorus cavalla) and Brazilian sharpnose sharks (Rhizoprionodon lalandii) captured on Brazil's east coast. Various studies have reported that humans are eating fish that have consumed microplastic [5][6][7]. ...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Due to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), world-wide face mask use is increasing exponentially. These face masks are difficult to recycle, and their accumulation contributes to enormous environmental threats. In this study, we hypothesize that the face mask can be reused as long as it retains its original structure, which will slow the environmental impacts. Materials and methods: We selected common disposable surgical masks for this study and classified test conditions based on wear time and reuse method. After wearing the mask for 10 hours, we let it dry naturally in the shade for 14 hours. The specimens were measured by scanning electron microscope and capillary flow porometer. Results: The pore structure of the mask did not change when worn 4 times for 10 hours each time, and there was no significant pore structure change when impregnated with ethyl alcohol (purity 95%), treated with UV or steam, or run through a washing machine. Conclusion: The pore structure of the surgical mask was not changed significantly after 40 hours of use. Surgical mask pore structure did not change significantly after treatment with ethyl alcohol, UV light, steam, or a washing machine.
... The ingestion of plastic may be direct or indirect; [26] directly from floating debris on the sea surface or in a water column, or from marine waste on the seafloor, and indirectly ingestion can take place as a result of feeding based on small fish or plankton that contain plastic debris. Ten percent of the overall total for the fish that were studied ingested microplastic waste. ...
... at new study 32 of fish specimens belonging 11 species and 9 families, Plastic pellets were found in the stomachs of 7 individuals (22%) of two species: the king mackerel, Scomberomorus cavalla (Scombridae), (Carcharhinidae) [28]. with sizes ranging from 2 to 5 mm in their longest dimension [26]. The plastic pellets had circular shapes, and colors ranging from clear to white, and yellowish (Figure 7). ...
Article
Full-text available
Marine pollution has always shown many impacts on the environment all around the world. In this study, two of the impacts of debris are evaluated on the northern coast of the Mediterranean Sea in Morocco. The evaluation of the ingestion phenomenon of micro plastic in the fish, demonstrated that 10% was the percentage of fish samples which ingested microplastic for both species with higher values for the benthic fish, Diplodus cervinus, for the pelagic fish, Auxis thazard. The other impact detected is the presence of marine litter; 86% is the percentage of occurrence of waste in the fishing nets, which means the accumulation of debris in the seabed. This growth of marine litter leads to increased risk for marine biology in general, and to the appearance of other negative effects; in particular the low economic yield of this maritime activity. Keywords: Impact; ingestion; microplastic; Diplodus cervinus; Auxis thazard; yield
... This topic is also covered in Hermsen et al. (2018) in more detail. As a general overview, the type of recovered plastic objects and fragments varied from whole objects (Kartar et al., 1976;Cliff et al., 2002), filaments or fibers (Dantas, Barletta, & da Costa, 2012;Lusher et al., 2013;Neves et al., 2015;Rochman et al., 2015), plastic spherules Kartar et al., 1976;Miranda and de Carvalho-Souza, 2016) and fragments (i.e. brokendown plastic particles of unknown origin; Boerger et al., 2010;Avio et al., 2015). ...
... Mizraji et al. (2017) and Markic et al. (2018) found the greatest plastic ingestion in omnivorous species, while conversely, Jabeen et al. (2017) reported the least plastic debris in omnivores, as opposed to carnivores and planktivores. Miranda & de Carvalho-Souza (2016) found plastic debris only in two carnivorous species out of 11 species of various trophic guilds. Phillips and Bonner (2015) recorded the greatest ingestion in pelagic carnivores, but they did not examine omnivorous fish or herbivorous fish. ...
Article
Marine plastic pollution has become a prominent environmental issue in the recent years. Plastic ingestion is of special concern, as its magnitude and consequences for marine organisms and potentially humans are still largely unknown. We reviewed 93 papers on plastic ingestion by wild marine fish published since 1972. Plastic ingestion was detected in 323 (65%) of 494 examined fish species, and in 262 (67%) of 391 examined commercial fish species. These proportions are likely greater, as a detailed analysis of the sampling effort and analytical methods used in the reviewed studies suggests an underestimation of plastic ingestion in some assessments. A significant positive relationship (R = + 0.845, p = 0.004) was found between the sample size up to N = 10 and the detection of plastic ingestion. We also found significant differences in detection and frequency of occurrence (FO, %) of plastic ingestion among the three main types of analytical methods: naked-eye, microscopic analysis and chemical digestion. The chemical digestion method, which is also the most robust laboratory method, had the greatest detection (86%) and the highest FO (37.6 ± 0.6%). To avoid the underestimation of plastic ingestion in future work, we provided recommendations for sample sizes and laboratory analysis.
... Ingestion is one of the main impacts of plastics on marine biota, having already been reported for over 700 species from various groups, including invertebrates, birds, turtles, mammals and fish (Gall and Thompson, 2015;Kühn and van Franeker, 2020;Miranda and Carvalho-Souza, 2016). Ingestion of plastics can cause physical impacts, such as gastrointestinal tract perforation, false sense of satiety, malnutrition, physiological and behavioral changes (Gall and Thompson, 2015). ...
... In addition to ecological consequences, ingestion of plastics by seafood such as fish can potentially affect human health, considering that the compounds may bioaccumulate in the tissues of organisms and be transferred by biomagnification to higher trophic levels, including humans as top consumers (Set€ al€ a et al., 2014;Teuten et al., 2009). However, implications for humans are still debated, since the relation between consumption of plastic-ingesting seafood and human health has not yet been clearly demonstrated (Miranda and Carvalho-Souza, 2016). ...
Article
Rising concentrations of plastic in the oceans are leading to increasing negative interactions with marine biota, including ingestion by endangered and/or economically important seafood species such as fish. In this paper, we visually evaluated plastic debris ingestion by 965 specimens of eight commercially exploited fish species from different marine habitats off the southeast-south coast of Brazil. All species ingested plastics, with pelagic animals having higher amounts, frequency of occurrence, diversity and sizes of ingested items than demersal-pelagic and demersal animals. Highest frequency of occurrence (FO%) of plastic ingestion (25.8%) was observed for the pelagic skipjack tuna Katsuwonus pelamis (Scombridae), and lowest (5%) for the demersal bluewing searobin Prionotus punctatus (Triglidae). Microplastics predominated in all species, and fibers and fragments were the main items found, possibly derived from fishing materials. The most abundant plastic colors were transparent, black and blue, and the most common polymers were polyamide and polyurethane. With the available data, no relationship between the size of the individuals and amount of ingested plastics was observed. Considering the negative impacts of plastic ingestion on marine fish, and potentially on human health due to their consumption, understanding ingestion patterns is critical for better evaluating their origin and possible causes, and consequently helping define prevention strategies for this problem.
... In recent years, there has been an increased focus on the environmental problems that can arise from microlitter, particularly its synthetic subtype microplastics (MP) (GESAMP, 2016). Due to small size, microlitter is readily ingested by a variety of aquatic organisms, ranging from zooplankton to mammals (Miranda and de Carvalho-Souza 2016) and may hence enter the food chain at lower trophic levels that lead to the bioaccumulation of microlitter and its associated contaminants (Setälä et al. 2014, Rochman et al. 2013, Besseling et al. 2014). ...
... Further, variety of plastic additives, like flame retardants and plasticizers, are included in the plastics during manufacturing. It has been proposed that if MPs with their micropollutants enter food webs through digestion by biota, this may lead to ecosystem and human health impacts (Browne et al., 2013;Miranda and de Carvalho-Souza, 2016). ...
... The yellow color of the pellets was similar to that observed in king mackerel (Scomberomorus cavalla) (Miranda and Carvalho-Souza, 2015). The yellowish coloration suggests that the pellets underwent oxidation or photooxidation while adrift at sea and may also be the result of interaction with digestive enzymes of the fish (Miranda and Carvalho-Souza, 2015). ...
... The yellow color of the pellets was similar to that observed in king mackerel (Scomberomorus cavalla) (Miranda and Carvalho-Souza, 2015). The yellowish coloration suggests that the pellets underwent oxidation or photooxidation while adrift at sea and may also be the result of interaction with digestive enzymes of the fish (Miranda and Carvalho-Souza, 2015). On the other hand, Endo et al. (2005) reported that concentration of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are higher in yellowing pellets. ...
Article
Microplastics (MPs) are currently one of the primary marine pollution problems around the world. MPs are distributed throughout the water column, dependent mainly on the density that is given by the polymer type, as well as the location, depth, and velocities of the water flows. This situation allows all aquatic organisms to be exposed to MPs. Furthermore, toxic substances can adhere to the MPs, making the consumption of fish with MPs a risk to human health. The aim of this study was to evaluate and characterize the microplastics present in the gastrointestinal tract of six species of fish which had the highest human consumption in Campeche, Mexico and their relationship with the density of MPs founded. A total of 316 microplastic particles from 240 individuals were found with 1.31 ± 2.59 of microplastics per fish. The results indicate that there are differences (KW-H= 53.14) between the densities of the MPs present in demersal fish (1.41 ± 0.4 g cm-3) with respect to the pelagic species (1.04 ± 0.24 g cm-3). Likewise, differences were found between fibers, fragments, and pellets present in the studied fish with a pelagic: demersal ratio of 1: 2.4 for all microplastics. The demersal species Haemulon plumierii (n= 40) presented the highest number of MPs with 115 items in total, 73 fibers, and 42 fragments. The results of this research show the first evidence that the density of the material from which microplastics are made play a key role determining their fate in marine fish habitats.
... This is pertinent since the smaller microplastics can be deliberately miscount under direct observation (Jabeen et al., 2017). In addition, different types of organ samples to investigate the microplastics ingestion are of major concern since most of the previous works only considered stomach contents rather than the GI tract (Miranda et al., 2016;Rummel et al., 2016). Jabeen et al. (2017) strongly suggested to investigate the whole GI tract (from top of esophagus to anus) which is able to provide an all-inclusive report on the number of ingested microplastics in fish. ...
Article
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Microplastics are plastic particles less than 5 mm and have been classified as contaminants of emerging concern. In recent years, the ubiquity of microplastics has caused a serious threat to aquatic animals worldwide. Over the past decade, the ingestion of microplastics has been extensively reported in various marine animals. However, studies on ingested microplastics in the aquatic animal in freshwater ecosystems are still scarce. Therefore, the presence of microplastics in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract of freshwater fish in Skudai River was investigated. Sixty fish were caught belonging to 6 species and 3 feeding habits. The analysis shows all species ingested microplastics. By individual, only 40% of the fish ingested microplastics. Microplastics with size between 1 to 5 mm were the most dominant particles found in the GI tract. There was a significant difference in number of microplastics among different species. A positive correlation was observed between the number of microplastics and Fulton's condition, body weight and weight of the GI tract. This investigation represents the first study on the interaction between microplastics and aquatic animals in fishing and urban area of this country, where fish are consumed by local people.
... Our estimate, however, is probably underestimated, considering the existence of unreported cases and limited sampling effort in many ecosystems d particularly freshwaters. The increasing ingestion of plastic may enhance negative effects on biodiversity and human well-being, because many fish species have commercial value or play important ecosystem functions (e.g., Miranda and de Carvalho-Souza, 2016;Rochman et al., 2015;Tahir and Rochman, 2015). Our results stress the need for policies aiming at minimizing plastic consumption and pollution. ...
... Also, Collicutt et al. (2019) reported the incidence of microplastic in juvenile Chinook salmon and their nearshore from the east coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia. The report of Miranda and de Carvalho-Souza (2016) that two important edible fish species, king mackerel (Scomberomorus cavalla) and Brazilian sharpnose shark (Rhizoprionodon lalandii), caught along the eastern coast of Brazil with quite high microplastic incidence, S. cavalla (62.5%) and R. lalandii (33%) suggested that humans may have been consuming plastic-ingesting fish. This suggested health-related implications in humans via plastic debris transfer along the food chain. ...
Article
The global plastics production has increased from 1.5 million tons in the 1950s to 335 million tons in 2016, with plastics discharged into virtually all components of the environment. Plastics rarely biodegrade but through different processes they fragment into microplastics and nanoplastics, which have been reported as ubiquitous pollutants in all marine environments worldwide. This study is a review of trend in marine plastic pollution with focus on the current toxicological consequences. Microplastics are capable of absorbing organic contaminants, metals and pathogens from the environment into organisms. This exacerbates its toxicological profile as they interact to induced greater toxic effects. Early studies focused on the accumulation of plastics in the marine environment, entanglement of and ingestions by marine vertebrates, with seabirds used as bioindicators. Entanglement in plastic debris increases asphyxiation through drowning, restrict feeding but increases starvation, skin abrasions and skeletal injuries. Plastic ingestion causes blockage of the guts which may cause injury of the gut lining, morbidity and mortality. Small sizes of the microplastics enhance their translocation across the gastro-intestinal membranes via endocytosis-like mechanisms and distribution into tissues and organs. While in biological systems, microplastics increase dysregulation of gene expression required for the control of oxidative stress and activating the expression of nuclear factor E2-related factor (Nrf) signaling pathway in marine vertebrates and invertebrates. These alterations are responsible for microplastics induction of oxidative stress, immunological responses, genomic instability, disruption of endocrine system, neurotoxicity, reproductive abnormities, embryotoxicity and trans-generational toxicity. It is possible that the toxicological effects of microplastics will continue beyond 2020 the timeline for its ending by world environmental groups. Considering that most countries in African and Asia (major contributors of global plastic pollutions) are yet to come to terms with the enormity of microplastic pollution. Hence, majority of countries from these regions are yet to reduce, re-use or re-circle plastic materials to enhance its abatement.
... The negative effects of this microplastic contamination on aquatic environments, particularly aquatic organisms, are well-documented, with severe health and environmental implications due to the entanglement, gut-blockage or pseudo-satiation of aquatic fauna. This concern is heightened by the understanding that 56 per cent of polymers consist of level IV or level V monomers, the second highest and highest ranking environmental and health hazards, respectively (Lithner et al., 2011;Miranda and de Carvalho-Souza, 2016). Therefore, developing an approach to limit or reduce contamination by microplastics as a direct result of WWTPs is essential and of the highest priority. ...
... Ivar do Sul and Costa (2007) have suggested that we have underestimated the human health impact from beach litter for many decades, despite clear, quantified evidence that beach litter and marine debris affect animals (e.g., Verlis et al., 2013Verlis et al., , 2014Vegter et al., 2014;Hardesty et al., 2015;Wright et al., 2015). The impact to humans has been discussed in the literature but remains, for the most part, unquantified (e.g., Thompson et al., 2009;Keswani et al., 2016;Miranda and de Carvalho-Souza, 2016;Kiessling et al., 2017), with the exception of a single study in Australia (Campbell et al., 2016). In Australia, approximately 21% of users of "clean" beaches are injured in some manner by beach litter, yet few people (12.9%) consider that their health is at risk from beach litter (Campbell et al., 2016). ...
Article
The environmental, social and cultural importance of beaches permeates human society, yet the risk of human injury associated with increasing exposure to anthropogenic beach litter remains an unknown. While the impact of marine debris and beach litter on marine and coastal fauna and flora is a widely reported global issue, we investigate the impact on human health in New Zealand. Anthropogenic beach litter is ubiquitous, few beaches remain pristine, which consequently influences tourist choices and potentially negatively interacts with humans. Human impacts are not well-investigated, with no quantitative studies of impact but many studies qualitatively inferring impact. New Zealand has a socialised medical system allowing a quantitative, decadal assessment of medical insurance claims to determine patterns and trends across ecosystems and causes. We demonstrate for the first time that anthropogenic beach litter poses a common and pervasive exposure hazard to all ages, with specific risk posed to young children. The New Zealand system allows these hazards to be investigated to determine the true effects and costs across a nation, providing an evidence base for decision-makers to address this ubiquitous environmental issue.
... High-throughput sequencing and qPCR were conducted to qualitatively and quantitatively analyze the bacterial community on microplastics. The results showed that bacteria tended to adhere to the surfaces of microplastics, the ecological food chains and food webs (Carbery et al., 2018;Miranda & de Carvalho-Souza, 2016). ...
Article
Full-text available
Due to inefficient removal of microplastics by drinking water treatment process, widely distributed microplastics in drinking water sources may pose risks to drinking water safety. To explore the factors influencing the colonization of bacteria on microplastics and biological risks posed by microplastics in drinking water sources, we exposed microplastics with different sizes and polymer types to water from Yangtze River and Jialing River for 21 days under controlled conditions. High-throughput sequencing and qPCR were conducted to qualitatively and quantitatively analyze the bacterial community on microplastics. The results showed that bacteria tended to adhere to the surfaces of microplastics, resulting in higher community richness and diversity and different community structure on microplastics compared with those in incubation water. The number of bacteria on microplastics increased with decreasing particle size. It was the nature of incubation water rather than microplastics determined the bacterial community structure on microplastics. Some potential pathogens were discovered on microplastics, especially Mycobacterium which accounted for a high proportion. Overall, this study provided an insight into microplastic biofilm and the challenges brought by them in drinking water sources.
... Reduced feed activity may lead to decreased growth rate and difficulty in preventing predators, increasing the chances of being eliminated in the natural ecosystem (Mattsson et al., 2015). Miranda and Carvalho-Souza (2016) investigated the rate of ingestion of plastics by commercially valuable fish that are caught by artisanal fishermen on the east coast of Brazil, Salvador, Bahia. Among the eleven species analyzed, two species contained plastic in the stomach: the king mackerel, Scomberomorus cavalla, in 62.5% of the individuals and the Brazilian shark, Rhizoprionodon lalandii, in 33% of the individuals. ...
... Different papers report that the presence of a large part of microplastic fibers in the aquatic environment is due to the washing of synthetic clothes [3,4]. The ingestion of microplastic, besides causing the obstruction of digestive tract, can facilitate the transfer of contaminants adsorbed by the plastic, with unclear consequences to the health of aquatic organisms and humans [5][6][7]. Indeed a major problem with microplastic is their ability to adsorb other common environmental contaminants, such as metals [8][9][10], pharmaceuticals [11,12], personal care products [12] and others [13,14]. Consequently, the microplastic can potentially cause diseases such as cancer, a malformation in animals and humans, impaired reproductive activity, and reduced immune response [15]. ...
Article
Full-text available
Plastic pollution of the aquatic environment is a major concern considering the disastrous impact on the environment and on human beings. The significant and continuous increase in the production of plastics causes an enormous amount of plastic waste on the land entering the aquatic environment. Furthermore, wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) are reported as the main source of microplastic and nanoplastic in the effluents, since they are not properly designed for this purpose. The application of advanced wastewater treatment technologies is mandatory to avoid effluent contamination by plastics. A concrete solution can be represented by membrane technologies as tertiary treatment of effluents in integrated systems for wastewater treatment, in particular, for the plastic particles with a smaller size (< 100 nm). In this review, a survey of the membrane processes applied in the plastic removal is analyzed and critically discussed. From the literature analysis, it was found that the removal of microplastic by membrane technology is still insufficient, and without the use of specially designed approaches, with the exception of membrane bioreactors (MBRs).
... Rochman et al. (2015) demonstrated the presence of microplastics (size > 500 μm) in 9% and 28% of the gastrointestinal tracts from fish sold at markets in the USA and Indonesia, respectively, with an average number of plastic pieces of 0.5 per individual fish in the USA samples and 1.4 in the Indonesian samples. Miranda and Carvalho-Souza (2016) also found microplastics in the digestive tract of two important species of edible fish (Scomberomorus cavalla and Rhizoprionodon lalandii) caught along the eastern coast of Brazil, and Neves et al. (2015) detected microplastics in 19.8% of commercial fish from the Portuguese coast. Moreover, microplastics have been detected in the stomachs of commercially important fish from the Mediterranean (Romeo et al., 2015), and in the gastrointestinal tract and liver of anchovies and sardines that sometimes are totally consumed (i.e. the entire fish) (Avio et al., 2015b;Collard et al., 2017;Compa et al., 2018). ...
Article
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Recent studies have demonstrated the negative impacts of microplastics on wildlife. Therefore, the presence of microplastics in marine species for human consumption and the high intake of seafood (fish and shellfish) in some countries cause concern about the potential effects of microplastics on human health. In this brief review, the evidence of seafood contamination by microplastics is reviewed, and the potential consequences of the presence of microplastics in the marine environment for human food security, food safety and health are discussed. Furthermore, challenges and gaps in knowledge are identified. The knowledge on the adverse effects on human health due to the consumption of marine organisms containing microplastics is very limited, difficult to assess and still controversial. Thus, assessment of the risk posed to humans is challenging. Research is urgently needed, especially regarding the potential exposure and associated health risk to micro- and nano-sized plastics.
... According to the current knowledge, we are unable to estimate the real magnitude of the risk posed to human health by plastic-contaminated seafood (Rist et al., 2018;Van der Fels-Klerx et al., 2018). A thought-provoking study entitled "Are we eating plastic-ingesting fish?" (Miranda and Carvalho-Souza, 2016), answered "yes" to this question. Yes, maybe we are eating plastics from contaminated seafood, but still not enough to feel their harmful effects on our health. ...
Article
This paper aims to investigate some of the hottest issues that concern the increasing presence of plastics in the sea. In an attempt to identify the main knowledge gaps and to suggest future research, we discuss priority topics on marine plastic pollution through ten thought-provoking questions on the current knowledge of multiple consequences of plastics on the marine ecosystem. Our investigation found that the majority of knowledge gaps include not only intrinsic aspects of plastics (e.g. quantification, typology, fate), but also biological, ecological and legislative implications (e.g. ingestion rate by wildlife, biomagnification across food webs, spread of alien species, consequences for human nutrition, mitigation measures). The current scenario shows that science is still far from assessing the real magnitude of the impact that plastics have on the sea. In particular, the transfer of plastics across marine trophic levels emerged as one of the most critical knowledge gaps. Current regulations seem not sufficient to tackle the massive release of plastics into the sea. Within this complex picture, a positive note is the ever-increasing public awareness. The release of plastics into the sea is certainly a serious environmental issue that can be effectively addressed only through the combined efforts of the three main stakeholders: ordinary citizens through more eco-friendly behaviours, scientists by filling knowledge gaps, and policymakers by passing conservation laws relying on prevention and scientific evidence.
... It was found that every clam analyzed had at least one piece of microplastic and the concentration in individual clams ranged from 0.07 to 5.5 particles per gram. In Brazil, an investigation conducted by Miranda [13] Microplastics can be hazardous to aquatic organisms through different pathways [5,7]. First, the ingestion of microplastics can cause physical blockage, internal abrasions, and internal and external wounds, and hence the organisms can be harmed by expending energy for egestion, can suffer from starvation and debilitation, and can result in death [3][4][5]7]. ...
... Romeo et al. (2015) evaluated the presence of plastic fragments in three large pelagic fishes, Swordfish Xiphias gladius Linnaeus, 1758, Atlantic Bluefin tuna Thunnus thynnus (Linnaeus, 1758), and Albacore Thunnus alalunga (Bonnaterre, 1788), and 18.2% of the sampled individuals had ingested plastic fragments, with T. thynnus having the greatest frequency of plastic ingestion (32.4%). Miranda and Souza (2016) quantified the presence of plastic in the stomach contents of eleven generalist carnivorous fish species, and of these, they found plastic fragments in two species, the Brazilian sharpnose shark Rhizoprionodon lalandii (Müller and Henle, 1839) and the King mackerel Scomberomorus cavalla (Cuvier, 1829). Ferreira et al. (2016) found plastic residues in all ontogenetic phases of Acoupa weakfish Cynoscion acoupa (Lacepède, 1801), which constituted 64.2% of the fishes analyzed. ...
Article
Atlantic Bigeye (Priacanthus arenatus) is a demersal species from the Priacanthidae family with little literature relating to its biology and catch aspects. Due to this lack of research, the focus of this effort was to describe the feeding preferences of Atlantic Bigeye and to evaluate the influence of plastic debris derived from the local fisheries activities on its diet. The most important items were Corophiidae, Penaeidae, Actinopterygii, Isopoda, Cephalopoda, Polychaeta and plastic. Plastic was present in 49.17% of the stomachs analyzed. A total of 210 plastic fragments were found, and 63% were derived from fishing. Of those, 55% were derived from paint fragments from vessels and 8% from synthetic fibres (PA). The results suggest that plastic fragments found in stomachs are related to the species' natural diet and that this debris is locally deposited in the coastal environment. Fishing resources appear to have been affected by this local marine pollution.
... In marine fishes, concerns of the impacts of plastic debris were initially showed by reports of abandoned fishing nets, argued to cause direct mortality by entanglement and suffocation (i.e., ghost fishing; Laist, 1997;Matsuoka et al., 2005). More recently, the consumption of plastic pellets (among others) by fishes was shown as a cause for concern given the potential treat associated with food chain impacts, which may occur at multiple trophic levels (Miranda and Carvalho-Souza, 2016). This is exemplified by Davison and Asch (2011) work, estimating that in the North Pacific subtropical gyre along, 12,000-24,000 tons of plastic debris each year are ingested by fishes. ...
Article
Plastic debris collar wrappings (PDCW) are involved in the frequent entanglement of several groups of marine animals. In fishes, however aside from ‘ghost fishing’, PDCW events are rarely documented, and no record of this occurrence exists in tropical reef fishes. Here, we present records for four species afflicted by plastic debris collars. Observations occurred during snorkeling, and included the silver mojarra Eucinostomus argenteus, Atlantic thread herring Ophistonema oglinum, tomtate grunt Haemulon aurolineatum and gray parrotfish Sparisoma axillare. While PDCW may not create an instantaneous source of mortality, our observations suggest that de- bilitating stress, created by reduced swimming performances, feeding and/or antipredator behavior are likely consequences for afflicted individuals. Given the importance of these performances on survival, reduction in fitness is expected. This note aims to report cases of PDCW and underscore that such interactions between fishes and plastic pollution may be more prevalent than previously expected in coastal reef habitats.
... For example, microplastics have been observed in the gastro-intestinal tract in 11 out of the 20 most important species and genera of finfish that contribute to global marine fisheries (FAO, 2016b). These species are chub mackerel (Scomber japonicus), Atlantic herring (Clupea harengus), Atlantic mackerel (Scomber scombrus), Japanese anchovy (Engraulis japonicus), Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua), European pilchard (Sardina pilchardus), blue whiting (Micromesistius poutassou), European sprat (Sprattus sprattus), king mackerel (Scomberomorus cavalla) from the Scomberomorus spp group, shortfin (Decapterus macrosoma) and Amberstripe (Decapterus muroadsi) scads from the Decapterus spp group, and Indian oil sardine (Sardinella longiceps) from the Sardinella spp group (Brate et al., 2016;Collard et al., 2015Collard et al., , 2017Foekema et al., 2013;Güven et al., 2017;Liboiron et al., 2016;Lusher, McHugh and Thompson, 2013;Miranda and Freire de Carvalho-Souza, 2016;Neves et al., 2015;Ory et al., 2017;Rochman et al., 2015;Rummel et al., 2016b;Sulochanan et al., 2014;Tanaka and Takada, 2016). ...
Technical Report
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Plastic production has increased exponentially since the early 1950s and reached 322 million tonnes in 2015, this figure does not include synthetic fibres which accounted for an additional 61 million tonnes in 2015. It is expected that production of plastics will continue to increase in the foreseeable future and production levels are likely to double by 2025. Inadequate management of plastic waste has led to increased contamination of freshwater, estuarine and marine environments. It has been estimated that in 2010 between 4.8 million to 12.7 million tonnes of plastic waste entered the oceans. Abandoned, lost or otherwise discarded fishing gears (ALDFG) are considered the main source of plastic waste by the fisheries and aquaculture sectors, but their relative contribution is not well known at regional and global levels. Microplastics are usually defined as plastic items which measure less than 5 mm in their longest dimension, this definition includes also nanoplastics which are particles less than 100 nanometres (nm) in their longest dimension. Plastic items may be manufactured within this size range (primary micro- and nanoplastics) or result from the degradation and fragmentation of larger plastic items (secondary micro- and nanoplastics). Microplastics may enter aquatic environments through different pathways and they have been reported in all environmental matrices (beaches, sediments, surface waters and water column). Ingestion of microplastics by aquatic organisms, including species of commercial importance for fisheries and aquaculture, has been documented in laboratory and field studies. In certain field studies it has been possible to source ingested microplastics to fisheries and aquaculture activities. Microplastics contain a mixture of chemicals added during manufacture, the so-called additives, and efficiently sorb (adsorb or absorb) persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic contaminants (PBTs) from the environment. The ingestion of microplastics by aquatic organisms and the accumulation of PBTs have been central to the perceived hazard and risk of microplastics in the marine environment. Adverse effects of microplastics ingestion have only been observed in aquatic organisms under laboratory conditions, usually at very high exposure concentrations that exceed present environmental concentrations by several orders of magnitude. In wild aquatic organisms microplastics have only been observed within the gastrointestinal tract, usually in small numbers, and at present there is no evidence that microplastics ingestion has negative effects on populations of wild and farmed aquatic organisms. In humans the risk of microplastic ingestion is reduced by the removal of the gastrointestinal tract in most species of seafood consumed. However, most species of bivalves and several species of small fish are consumed whole, which may lead to microplastic exposure. A worst case estimate of exposure to microplastics after consumption of a portion of mussels (225 g) would lead to ingestion of 7 micrograms (µg) of plastic, which would have a negligible effect (less than 0.1 percent of total dietary intake) on chemical exposure to certain PBTs and plastic additives.
... Further, variety of plastic additives, like flame retardants and plasticizers, are included in the plastics during manufacturing. It has been proposed that if MPs with their micropollutants enter food webs through digestion by biota, this may lead to ecosystem and human health impacts (Browne et al., 2013;Rochman et al., 2015;Miranda and de Carvalho-Souza, 2016). ...
Article
Conventional wastewater treatment with primary and secondary treatment processes efficiently remove microplastics (MPs) from the wastewater. Despite the efficient removal, final effluents can act as entrance route of MPs, given the large volumes constantly discharged into the aquatic environments. This study investigated the removal of MPs from effluent in four different municipal wastewater treatment plants utilizing different advanced final-stage treatment technologies. The study included membrane bioreactor treating primary effluent and different tertiary treatment technologies (discfilter, rapid sand filtration and dissolved air flotation) treating secondary effluent. The MBR removed 99.9% of MPs during the treatment (from 6.9 to 0.005 MP L⁻¹), rapid sand filter 97% (from 0.7 to 0.02 MP L⁻¹), dissolved air flotation 95% (from 2.0 to 0.1 MP L⁻¹) and discfilter 40–98.5% (from 0.5 – 2.0 to 0.03–0.3 MP L⁻¹) of the MPs during the treatment. Our study shows that with advanced final-stage wastewater treatment technologies WWTPs can substantially reduce the MP pollution discharged from wastewater treatment plants into the aquatic environments.
... Marine litter usually enters into the sea from land and marine-based sources (e.g., riverine runoffs, cities, shipping lanes, fishing activities) (UNEP, 2016;Auta et al., 2017), and is redistributed in open seas, shorelines, and beaches (Moore et al., 2001;van Sebille et al., 2015;NOAA, 2016). Concurrently, it may affect seriously marine organisms (e.g., fish, turtles, seabirds, mammals) through entanglement or ingestion (Ryan and Jackson, 1987;NOAA, 2014;Miranda and de Carvalho-Souza, 2016;Auta et al., 2017), posing also a serious threat to human health, when these organisms are consumed by humans (Van Cauwenberghe and Janssen, 2014; Kühn et al., 2015;Kosuth et al., 2018). ...
Article
A Lagrangian particle tracking model coupled to a circulation was used to explore the transport, residence timeand connectivity offloating litter that originated from theΕastern Ionian Sea during 2011–2014. At the end ofsimulations, on average 26% of litter was retained within the coastal waters of the Eastern Ionian Sea, whereas58% was washed into offshore waters without formulating permanent accumulation areas, as the basin-widesurface circulation was characterized by considerable interannual variability. The inflow of litter into theAdriatic and Eastern Mediterranean Seas was moderate, ranging between 9% and 20%, and the beached litterwas on average 9.2%, mostly located in the northern subregions. The average residence time of litter particlesranged between 20 and 80 days, implying their temporary retention before drifting offshore. Connectivitypatterns depicted an exchange of litter mainly between adjacent subareas and with a northward direction.
... Although scientific evidences abound on the occurrence of microplastics in foods consumed by humans and the capacity of microplastics to sorb harmful contaminants, no information is available yet about the fate of microplastics in the human body on the basis of microplastics ingestion (Rist et al., 2018). However, the bioaccumulation of MPs and sorbed POPs from lower nutrient levels may eventually impact human health (Miranda and de Carvalho-Souza, 2016). The risk of microplastics exposure to humans increases when sea organisms are consumed whole compared to when the digestive tracts are removed before consumption (Carbery et al., 2018). ...
Article
Full-text available
Scientific evidences abound of the occurrence of plastic pollution, from mega- to nano-sized plastics, in virtually all matrixes of the environment. Apart from the direct effects of plastics and microplastics pollution such as entanglement, inflammation of cells and gut blockage due to ingestion, plastics are also able to act as vectors of various chemical contaminants in the aquatic environment. This paper provides a review of the association of plastic additives with environmental microplastics, how the structure and composition of polymers influence sorption capacities and highlights some of the models that have been employed to interpret experimental data from recent sorption studies. The factors that influence the sorption of chemical contaminants such as the degree of crystallinity, surface weathering, and chemical properties of contaminants. and the implications of chemical sorption by plastics for the marine food web and human health are also discussed. It was however observed that most studies relied on pristine or artificially aged plastics rather than field plastic samples for studies on chemical sorption by plastics.
... A growing concern related to microplastics is that they can also enter the human food chain through ingestion of fish, shellfish and filter feeders ( Mathalon and Hill, 2014;Chang, 2015), causing potential human health impacts ( UNEP, 2015;GESAMP, 2016). Filter-feeding mussels have been reported to contain microplastics in their tissues ( Besseling et al., 2015;Mathalon and Hill, 2014), but the toxicological risks are poorly understood and represents an important challenge for future research ( Goldstein et al., 2012;Seltenrich, 2015;Miranda and de Carvalho-Souza, 2016). ...
Article
Full-text available
Marine plastic pollution has been a growing concern for decades. Single-use plastics (plastic bags and microbeads) are a significant source of this pollution. Although research outlining environmental, social, and economic impacts of marine plastic pollution is growing, few studies have examined policy and legislative tools to reduce plastic pollution, particularly single-use plastics (plastic bags and microbeads). This paper reviews current international market-based strategies and policies to reduce plastic bags and microbeads. While policies to reduce microbeads began in 2014, interventions for plastic bags began much earlier in 1991. However, few studies have documented or measured the effectiveness of these reduction strategies. Recommendations to further reduce single-use plastic marine pollution include: (i) research to evaluate effectiveness of bans and levies to ensure policies are having positive impacts on marine environments; and (ii) education and outreach to reduce consumption of plastic bags and microbeads at source.
... This could be due to the recent advances in cheaper, faster and more accurate analysis techniques as well as an increase in interest from human health and environmental perspectives (Cole et al., 2011;Wright et al., 2013;Boucher and Friot, 2017). Plastics, such as microplastics and single-use-plastic, have become a recent important environmental concern and focus for researchers, this is evident from the increase in studies from 2016 onwards ( Fig. 1) (Wright et al., 2013;Ivar Do Sul and Costa, 2014;Gall and Thompson, 2015;Miranda and de Carvalho-Souza, 2016;Alomar and Deudero, 2017;Fossi et al., 2017;Pegado et al., 2018;Smith, 2018). The media and documentaries, such as Blue Planet II (presented by the BBC), have shifted consumers' views, as well as aided in the adoption of new laws on microplastics and single-use-plastic (Barboza and Gimenez, 2015;Xanthos and Walker, 2017;Henderson and Green, 2020). ...
Article
This review represents a comprehensive analysis on pollutants in elasmobranchs including meta-analysis on the most studied pollutants: mercury, cadmium, PCBs and DDTs, in muscle and liver tissue. Elasmobranchs are particularly vulnerable to pollutant exposure which may pose a risk to the organism as well as humans that consume elasmobranch products. The highest concentrations of pollutants were found in sharks occupying top trophic levels (Carcharhiniformes and Lamniformes). A human health risk assessment identified that children and adults consuming shark once a week are exposed to over three times more mercury than is recommended by the US EPA. This poses a risk to local fishing communities and international consumers of shark-based products, as well as those subject to the widespread mislabelling of elasmobranch products. Wider screening studies are recommended to determine the risk to elasmobranchs from emerging pollutants and more robust studies are recommended to assess the risks to human health.
... Cada vez es mayor la preocupación sobre la contaminación ambiental que producen los residuos plásticos. Estos poseen baja degradabilidad y afectan a la biósfera, encontrándose partículas plásticas en peces y aves de ecosistemas marinos (Azzarello y van Vleet 1987, Miranda y de Carvalho-Souza 2016. En 2012 se generaron 1300 millones de t/año de residuos, y se espera que para 2025 aumenten a aproximadamente 2200 millones t/año. ...
Article
Full-text available
Una alternativa para el reciclaje de los residuos plásticos es la producción de agregados livianos, pero en la bibliografía consultada se detectó una carencia de datos sobre su caracterización física y mecánica. En este trabajo se obtuvieron ocho muestras de plásticos asimilables a agregados en industrias locales (Mendoza, Argentina), se caracterizaron y se presentaron sus procesos de obtención. También se estudiaron los requisitos normativos vigentes en Argentina para considerar las muestras como agregados livianos, concluyendo que sólo dos de ellas cumplieron los estándares exigidos. Sin embargo, leves modificaciones en los procesos de reciclaje, clasificación por tamaños o mezcla entre distintas muestras, permitiría utilizar todas ellas.
... Due to increasing plastic wastes in oceans, MP have received great attention as pollutants of the marine environments [1]. Although MP are consumed by marine organisms, they progressively occur in nutrients from lower to higher organisms in the food chain, including mammals [2,3]. Recently, MP were evaluated in various cells and animals, and determined as one of the risk factors for human health. ...
Article
Full-text available
Indirect evidence has determined the possibility that microplastics (MP) induce constipation, although direct scientific proof for constipation induction in animals remains unclear. To investigate whether oral administration of polystyrene (PS)-MP causes constipation, an alteration in the constipation parameters and mechanisms was analyzed in ICR mice, treated with 0.5 μm PS-MP for 2 weeks. Significant alterations in water consumption, stool weight, stool water contents, and stool morphology were detected in MP treated ICR mice, as compared to Vehicle treated group. Also, the gastrointestinal (GI) motility and intestinal length were decreased, while the histopathological structure and cytological structure of the mid colon were remarkably altered in treated mice. Mice exposed to MP also showed a significant decrease in the GI hormone concentration, muscarinic acetylcholine receptors (mAChRs) expression, and their downstream signaling pathway. Subsequent to MP treatment, concentrations of chloride ion and expressions of its channel (CFTR and CIC-2) were decreased, whereas expressions of aquaporin (AQP)3 and 8 for water transportation were downregulated by activation of the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK)/nuclear factor (NF)-κB signaling pathway. These results are the first to suggest that oral administration of PS-MP induces chronic constipation through the dysregulation of GI motility, mucin secretion, and chloride ion and water transportation in the mid colon.
... Direct and indirect harm to animals often coincides. For example, not only are marine species threatened directly by overfishing, but also by "externalities" (i.e., matters of indifference), such as plastic pollution that leads to ingestion of plastics by ocean fishes (e.g., Boerger et al., 2010;Miranda and de Carvalho-Souza, 2016). Not only do forest dwellers, from insects to primates, suffer from deforestation but also from climate change (a quintessential externality of economic activity) making remaining forests more vulnerable to pests and drought (Steffen et al., 2018, p. 8255). ...
... Entanglement, smothering and ingestion of debris by marine species are the most known side-effects of marine litter (Fossi et al. 2018;Kühn, Rebolledo, and Franeker 2015). However, the deleterious effects of these wastes are much broader, ranging not only from the above-mentioned problems but also to economic (McIlgorm, Campbell, and Rule 2011;Newman et al. 2015), aesthetic (Ballance, Ryan, and Turpie 2000) and health-related consequences (Campbell et al. 2019;Keswani et al. 2016;Miranda and Carvalho-souza 2016;Rangel-Buitrago et al. 2020). Marine litter must thus be seen as an emerging, global and intergenerational problem, where the adoption of effective educational and behavior changes actions to curb it need to become imperative. ...
Chapter
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e-Sustainability 2020 | Atas do Seminário doutoral do Doutoramento em Sustentabilidade Social e Desenvolvimento CC #09 - eSustainability 2020 UAb - Gerson https://portal.uab.pt/colecao-ciencia-e-cultura/
... Previously published results showed a considerable contamination of fish from the Portuguese continental shelf (NE Atlantic Ocean) by microplastics (Neves et al., 2015;Barboza et al., in press). The presence of microplastics in D. labrax, T. trachurus and S. colias from Portuguese coastal waters is in agreement with the presence of microplastics found in marine wild-caught fish species with commercial interest from other regions around the world (Rochman et al., 2015;Miranda and Carvalho-Souza, 2016;Karami et al., 2017;Akhbarizadeh et al., 2018;Giani et al., 2019;Karbalaei et al., 2019;Zhu et al., 2019). Therefore, the need of accurate assessment of the levels of microplastics and associated contaminants in fish used for human consumption as food is crucial for determining the baseline levels of contamination and assessing the risk of microplastics to fish population sustainability and human food safety (Barboza et al., 2018a;Bessa et al., 2018;Walkinshaw et al., 2020). ...
Article
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In the present study, the levels of bisphenol A (BPA) and analagous compounds in muscle and liver of fish (Dicentrarchus labrax, Trachurus trachurus, Scomber colias) from the North East Atlantic Ocean were determined and the risk of their consumption by humans was assessed. The potential relationship between bisphenol concentrations and microplastic (MP) contamination of fish was also investigated. Fish from all the species had BPA in the liver and muscle, and bisphenol B (BPB) and bisphenol E (BPE) in the muscle. The highest concentration of BPA in the liver (302 ng/g dry weight - dw) was found in S. colias and the lowest one (5 ng/g dw) in T. trachurus. In the muscle, the bisphenol with the highest concentration was BPE in S. colias (272 ng/g dw). Fish with microplastics had significantly higher concentrations of bisphenols than fish where no microplastics were found, suggesting a relation between MP and bisphenol contamination in fish. In all species, the concentration of bisphenols was correlated with higher MP intake. Regarding human food safety, the estimated daily intake (EDI), target hazard quotient (THQ) and hazard index (HI) of bisphenols were higher than those established by the European Food Safety Authority suggesting hazardous risk for human consumers. These findings highlight the need of more research on fish contamination by MP and associated chemicals and inherent human food safety risks.
... Other substances have been found to get adsorbed while plastic floats in seawater (Teuten et al. 2009;Mato et al. 2001). The up-take of chemical substances might have an effect not only on the organisms themselves, but also on predators higher up in the food chain, including ultimately human consumers (Tanabe et al. 2003;Tanaka et al. 2013;Van Cauwenberghe & Janssen 2014;Rochman et al. 2015;Miranda & de Carvalho-Souza 2016). ...
Thesis
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In the framework of the EU JPI PLASTOX project, this PhD project focused on the effects of ingested plastic on marine wildlife and in particular the northern fulmar (Fulmarus glacialis). Plastic ingestion by fulmars was studied on Iceland and on Svalbard. Trophic transfer of plastic between predators and their prey was explored, by quantifying plastics ingested by prey fish from the Arctic Ocean and the North Sea. Ingested plastics were categorized according to their material characteristics. A mixture of relevant microplastics was created to be used in environmental impact studies. Experiments were conducted to investigate the transfer of chemicals from ingested plastic to northern fulmars. Furthermore an updated literature overview of species affected by plastics is provided.
... Plastic particles in the digestive systems of many species of sh and other marine organisms consumable by humans have been reported and quanti ed 17,30 . Recent studies on plastic size abundance and distribution have shown a continuous fragmentation of microplastic into nanoplastic occurring constantly in the oceans by marine organisms ingesting microplastics and bio-accumulating these particles in their stomachs 3,4 . ...
Preprint
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It is not surprising anymore the detection of plastic debris degrading into micro and nanoplastics across all oceanic environments and in marine organisms, which now appears as one of the world’s main concerns. To determine the levels of microplastic pollution at sea, water samples were collected across a 4000 km-trajectory in the Tropical Eastern Pacific and the Galápagos archipelago, covering an area of 453,000 square kilometres. Furthermore, 240 specimens of 16 different species of fish, squid, and shrimp, all of human consumption, were collected along the continental coast. Microplastic particles were found in 100% of the water samples and marine organisms. Microplastic particles from 150 – 500 µm were the most predominant. This is one of the first reports simultaneously detecting and quantifying microplastic particles abundance in the Eastern Tropical Pacific region, the Galápagos archipelago and inside marine organisms.
... Due to their small sizes, microplastics can easily be ingested by organisms, which directly results in physical damage via pseudo-satiation and gut blockage. In addition, the potentially hazardous compositions of microplastics and the toxic pollutants accumulated from the surrounding environment can also be released into the organism, thereby causing indirect chemical harm (Miranda and de Carvalho-Souza, 2016;Rochman et al., 2013). ...
Article
Wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) in coastal region play a primary role in transferring microplastics into the marine environment. Wastewater is closely related to anthropogenic activities, thus the intra-day variation of abundance of microplastics in the influent should be large and could have significant impact on their estimation of the daily mass load. In this study, a 2–hour interval sampling campaign was conducted at a secondary WWTP in Hong Kong to investigate the intra-day variations and daily loads of microplastics in influent. Results show that the average microplastic abundances increased from 7.1 ± 6.0 to 12.8 ± 5.8 particles/L over time, with predominant particle sizes ranging 1–5 mm. Approximately 80% of the microplastics in samples collected from 9:30–15:00 were polyethylene and polyester, while most samples collected at 17:00 were polypropylene and polyurethane. Microplastic loads exhibited large intra-day variations ranging 6.60 × 10⁸–1.16 × 10⁹ particles/day, indicating that calculated daily microplastic loads based on a specific sampling period may inaccurately estimate the actual daily load.
... Once in the environment, pellets can be ingested by aquatic wildlife such as ocean fish, squid, and seabirds (e.g. Braid et al., 2012;Van Franeker and Lavender Law, 2015;Miranda and de Carvalho-Souza, 2016). Although few studies focus on the physiological effects of pellet ingestion, numerous investigations show that microplastic (<5 mm plastic particles) ingestion can affect feeding behavior, reproduction, and growth of aquatic organisms (Chae and An, 2017). ...
Article
Full-text available
Industrial, pre-consumer pellets are a major type of plastics pollution found on shorelines worldwide. This study investigates the distribution and characteristics of plastic pellets accumulated on beaches of the Laurentian Great Lakes of North America and provides a “snapshot” of pellet distribution in a lake system that accounts for 21% of the world's freshwater reserves. We sampled pellets simultaneously from 10m² quadrats on 66 beaches and characterized the 12,595 pellets collected (average of 19.1 pellets/m²). Forty-two beaches contained pellets and 86% of the pellets were found on three beaches: Rossport (Lake Superior), Baxter (Lake Huron), and Bronte (Lake Ontario). The number of pellets on each beach was compared with factors hypothesized to control their accumulation. In general, positive correlations were found between pellet abundance and watershed population, number of plastic-related industries, and proximity to a river mouth, although for Lake Superior, abundance was related to a train spill that took place over 10 years ago. Beach grain size appears to be related to pellet abundance, with very fine sand, fine sand and medium sand containing the greatest number of pellets. All pellets were visually characterized based on size, color, shape, weathering, and distinguishing traits. The predominant color was white, oblate shapes were most common, and the main distinguishing trait was a dimple. Most pellets showed little evidence of weathering, with the weathered samples mainly from Lakes Erie and Ontario. Lake Ontario pellets were the most varied, with 6/7 shapes, 35/40 colors, and 21/25 distinguishing traits, indicating a wider range of pellet sources compared to the other lakes. Polymer compositions were mainly polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP). Our results will lead to increased recognition of regional pellet pollution in the Great Lakes watershed, thereby motivating change during their production, transport and use.
... MPs, which have small size and difficulty in biodegradation, can be easily ingested by organisms and accumulate in the bodies (Ivar do Sul and Costa, 2014;Steer et al., 2017). Futhermore, MPs can pass from the lower nutrient levels to the higher nutrient levels through the food chain, ultimately threatening human health (Setala et al., 2014;Miranda and de Carvalho-Souza, 2016). Therefore, MPs have become a new type of environmental pollutant which has drawn a wide public concern. ...
Article
Microplastics (MPs) have become hazardous materials, which have aroused widespread concern about their potential toxicity. However, the effects of MPs on reproductive systems in mammals are still ambiguous. In this study, the toxic effects of polystyrene MPs (PS-MPs) in male reproduction of mice were investigated. The results indicated that after exposure for 24 h, 4 μm and 10 μm PS-MPs accumulated in the testis of mice. Meanwhile, 0.5 μm, 4 μm, and 10 μm PS-MPs could enter into three kinds of testicular cells in vitro. In addition, sperm quality and testosterone level of mice were declined after exposure to 0.5 μm, 4 μm, and 10 μm PS-MPs for 28 days. H&E staining showed that spermatogenic cells abscissed and arranged disorderly, and multinucleated gonocytes occurred in the seminiferous tubule. Moreover, PS-MPs induced testicular inflammation and the disruption of blood-testis barrier. In summary, this study demonstrated that PS-MPs induced male reproductive dysfunctions in mice, which provided new insights into the toxicity of MPs in mammals.
... Devido ao seu peso, densidade e composição, esses grânulos são amplamente transportados nos oceanos, sendo degradados morfologicamente e quimicamente (BOURNE, 1982;IVAR DO SUL et al., 2009;FALCÃO;SOUZA, 2011;ANDRADY, 2011;FERNANDINO et al., 2015;MOREIRA et al., 2016a;MOREIRA et al., 2016b;VEERASINGAM et al., 2016a;HIRATA, 2017;FANINI, 2018 Os pellets podem atuar como vetor para diversos poluentes orgânicos persistentes (POPs) e metais (MATO et al., 2001;TAKADA, 2006;OGATA et al., 2009;HESKETT et al., 2012;HARATSARIS, 2018;GORMAN et al., 2019), afetando a biodiversidade, a economia e o turismo (BLIGHT & BURGER, 1997;BROWNE et al., 2008;COLABUONO et al., 2010;ALMEIDA, 2011;ENDO et al., 2013;ANDRADE, 2014;NOBRE et al., 2015;MIRANDA & CARVALHO-SOUZA, 2016 ...
Article
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A praia de Santa Cruz dos Navegantes está localizada próxima ao Canal do Porto de Santos, uma grande fonte emissora de pellets plásticos para os ambientes marinhos. As quantidades de pellets em praias arenosas aumentam durante o inverno e após eventos de entrada frente fria. Este estudo teve o objetivo de determinar a influência de um evento de entrada de frente fria nos pellets encontrados nesta praia, durante o inverno de 2019, além de supor a proximidade das fontes emissoras. A praia de Santa Cruz dos Navegantes foi considerada ideal para este tipo de pesquisa, pois apresentou quantidades Moderadas a Muito Altas de pellets, está situada próxima a fontes emissoras e sofre maior deposição de pellets durante eventos de frente fria. A continuidade da aplicação dos métodos presentes neste estudo é imprenscindível para o monitoramento e avaliação dos pellets em praias arenosas.
Article
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Plastic debris is widespread and ubiquitous in the marine environment and ingestion of plastic debris by marine organisms is well-documented. Viscera and gills of 110 individual marine fish from 11 commercial fish species collected from the marine fish market were examined for presence of plastic debris. Isolated particles were characterized by Raman spectroscopy, and elemental analysis was assessed using energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX). Nine (of 11) species contained plastic debris. Out of 56 isolated particles, 76.8% were plastic polymers, 5.4% were pigments, and 17.8% were unidentified. Extracted plastic particle sizes ranged from 200 to 34900 μm (mean = 2600 μm ±7.0 SD). Hazardous material was undetected using inorganic elemental analysis of extracted plastic debris and pigment particles. The highest number of ingested microplastics were measured in Eleutheronema tridactylum and Clarias gariepinus, suggesting their potential as indicator species to monitor and study trends of ingested marine litter.
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Evaluating the sustainability of pasture based animal fiber production seems important, as reliable scientific data is missing and consumer demand for information about the origin of fibers is rising. The aim of this study was to document the current Cashmere production in Mongolia and to identify main challenges and limitations for a sustainable development of this system. Mongolia is at the moment the second most important Cashmere producer worldwide . The field study was performed in four provinces of Mongolia, representing different geographical regions of the country. A total of 38 farmers were interviewed using a questionnaire which was based on themes identified in the scientific literature. Furthermore 14 local experts were interviewed to discuss problematic topics. In addition, 12 workshops with farmers were performed in order to get a deeper insight in stakeholders viewpoints. As no description of the production system existed, the interviews were used to collect data on that as well. The Cashmere production in Mongolia is performed by pastoralists, who keep mixed herds (mostly 4 species) and rely exclusively on income from livestock production. Animals are kept all year round on the pasture. The herders move 4 to 5 times a year to supply animals with adequate grazing land. Goats are combed once in spring to get the Cashmere fiber which is an important source of cash income for many farmers, providing up to 90% of the total household income. For farmers and experts, the most pressing topics for the sustainability of Cashmere production were overgrazing and pasture management, the genetic improvement and increase of Cashmere yields per animal, the water resources and the fluctuations of Cashmere price. Topics of minor or regional importance were the need for knowledge for new technologies and management strategies, the future lack of female workforce, the separation of families, low amounts of savings to balance disasters, little cooperation between farmers, pollution by people and mining industry, the lack of good healthcare for people and animals, climate change, reduced plant diversity and the increase of weeds on the pasture. Strengths which allow a sustainable production of Mongolian Cashmere farmers were the large diversity of kept farm animals, the low debt to equity ratio, the high input self-sufficiency, the willingness to share knowledge within and between generations, the small dependency on certain groups for the production, the high satisfaction with the job, the well-secured succession, the government support for the production system and the habituation to movement to provide the animals with adequate pasture. Concluding, it can be said that Mongolia’s farmers and experts are aware of many critical issues of sustainability in Cashmere production that are raised in the scientific literature. Solutions have to be found in the above mentioned problem areas to ensure long-term sustainability of the production system.
Article
Plastic debris is widespread and ubiquitous in the marine environment and ingestion of plastic debris by marine organisms is well-documented. Viscera and gills of 110 individual marine fish from 11 commercial fish species collected from the marine fish market were examined for presence of plastic debris. Isolated particles were characterized by Raman spectroscopy, and elemental analysis was assessed using energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX). Nine (of 11) species contained plastic debris. Out of 56 isolated particles, 76.8% were plastic polymers, 5.4% were pigments, and 17.8% were unidentified. Extracted plastic particle sizes ranged from 200 to 34,900 μm (mean = 2600 μm ±7.0 SD). Hazardous material was undetected using inorganic elemental analysis of extracted plastic debris and pigment particles. The highest number of ingested microplastics was measured in Eleutheronema tridactylum and Clarias gariepinus, suggesting their potential as indicator species to monitor and study trends of ingested marine litter.
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Cartilaginous fish include sharks, rays, skates, sawfish, and chimaeras. Their habitat ranges from shallow coastal waters to deep ocean floors, estuarine areas as well as rivers and inland waters. Overfishing is considered to be the main threat to their existence, but there are many more stressors that these species face. Pollution is an issue that concerns aquatic organisms at every level, and Chondrichthyans are no exception. Here, we looked at their IUCN Red List assessment, and noticed a lack of information regarding anthropogenic contamination for these species. Out of 1124 cartilaginous fish species assessed, only 17 Selachimorpha and 32 Batoidea species were considered to be facing a “pollution threat”; in most cases, the threat was assigned not from direct ecotoxicological studies of the specimens, but because the species inhabited areas likely to be contaminated. An update on the conservation status of these species is urgently needed. Further, there is a fundamental need to study the effects of contaminants on Chondrichthyans as they play a key role in aquatic ecosystems.
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Objective: Indirect evidence has determined the possibility that microplastics (MP) induce constipation, although direct scientific proof for constipation induction in animals remains unclear. Thus, this study is aimed to investigate whether oral administration of polystyrene MP causes constipation. Methods: An alteration in the constipation parameters and their molecular mechanisms was analyzed in ICR mice treated with 0.5 μm polystyrene (PS)-MP for 2 weeks. Results: Significant alterations in water consumption, stool weight, stool water contents, and stool morphology were detected in MP treated ICR mice, as compared to Vehicle treated group. Also, the gastrointestinal (GI) motility and intestinal length were decreased, while the histopathological structure and cytological structure of the transverse colon were remarkably altered in treated mice. Mice exposed to MP also showed a significant decrease in the GI hormone concentration, muscarinic acetylcholine receptors (mAChRs) expression and their downstream signaling pathway, as well as mucin secretion and transcription of the MUC1, MUC2 and Klf4 genes. Subsequent to MP treatment, concentrations of chloride ion and expressions of its channel (CFTR and CIC-2) were decreased, whereas expressions of AQP3 and 8 for water transportation were downregulated by activation of the MAPK/NF-kB signaling pathway. These regulation on water and chloride transportation were verified in intestinal epithelioid cell line (IEC18) after MP treatment. Conclusion: These results are the first to suggest that oral administration of PS-MP induces chronic constipation through the dysregulation of GI motility, mucin secretion, and chloride ion and water transportation in the transverse colon.
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An increasing number of reports have been published concerning microplastic (MP) pollution in aquatic environments. Methods used in these studies continue to be updated and lack standardization, so that an up-to-date review pertaining methods for MP research is needed. This critical review examines the analytical methods, including sampling, identification, and quantitation, for MP research. Samples are generally collected from water, sediment, and biota gastrointestinal tract. Manta nets or trawls are prevalently used in surface water sampling, while direct shoveling or box-corer grab are commonly applied in sediment sampling. Microplastics in biota are generally obtained by dissecting organisms and separating livers, gills, and guts. Density separation is frequently chosen to separate MPs from sample matrices. Chemical digestion can dissolve other organic materials and isolate MPs for further identification. Visual sorting should be combined with chemical composition analysis to better identify the polymer type. Pyrolysis or thermal decomposition gas chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, and Raman spectroscopy are currently the main technologies for MP identification. Units prevalently used to express MP abundance in water, sediment, and biota are “particles per m³,” “particles per m²,” and “particles per individual,” respectively. As MP abundances often varied with the methods used, we recommend that analytical protocols of MPs should better be standardized and optimized. Despite the important progress in analysis of MPs, detection technologies for identifying nano-sized plastic particles are still lacking, and therefore should be developed swiftly.
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Marine ecosystems are reported to be contaminated by microplastics (MPs) (< 5 mm); however, the ecological mechanisms involved in the ingestion of debris by marine organisms are relatively unknown. By developing and optimising an appropriate protocol of gut digestion for fish species, this study explores a tropical estuarine environment to unriddle the processes responsible for the different ingestion rates of plastic debris. A total of 82 fishes with different feeding habits were analysed, Centropomus undecimalis (n = 30; Piscivore), Bairdiella ronchus (n = 21; Zoobenthivore) and Gobionellus stomatus (n = 31; Detritivore). The microplastic ingestion varied with the feeding strategy; C. undecimalis, the predator, was the most contaminated species. Overall, most MPs were fibres (47%), followed by pellets (40%) and fragments (13%), although these proportions varied among species. A high level of contamination was found in the Estuarine Complex of Santa Cruz Channel, Northeast of Brazil, with many potential input sources of MPs to the estuary, which likely accumulates in the sediment and water column, with unknown consequences for human health.
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Global urbanization and plastic pollution has increased the availability and variety of substrates for sessile organisms, and are intensively used by invasive species for settlement. Despite extensive literature describing the strong association between artificial structures and invasive species, little effort has been directed towards identifying the larval traits that favor this selection. Larval selection and settlement are crucial as larvae actively search and interpret environmental cues to identify suitable habitats to settle. The aim of this research was to investigate if invertebrate larvae have a preference for a particular anthropogenic substrate, and how pre-settlement behaviors vary when encountering different substrates. We used two invasive bryozoan species, Bugula flabellata and Bugula neritina, which are commonly found in urbanized areas around the world. Energy expenditure during planktonic and benthonic stages, pre-settlement swimming/exploring behaviors, settlement and larval selectivity were quantified under laboratory conditions on different substrates (concrete, wood, polystyrene, polyvinyl chloride, polyethylene terephthalate and polycarbonate). The energy expenditure measured was higher in planktonic larvae than in early settled larvae. Larvae of both species swam less and explored more when exposed to plastic surfaces, suggesting a preference for this substrate and resulting in lower energy expenditures associated with searching for habitat. Larvae actively chose to settle on plastics rather than on wood or concrete substrates. The results suggest that for Bugula larvae, the likelihood of colonizing plastic surfaces is higher than other materials commonly found in urbanized coastal areas. The more quickly they adhere to artificial substrates the lower the energy expenditure, contributing to higher fitness in these individuals. The strong preference of invertebrate larvae for plastics can potentially extend the distribution range of many invasive marine species as they are able to travel long distances attached to floating debris. This phenomenon will likely exacerbate the introduction of exotic species into novel habitats.
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Microplastics are discharged into the environment through human activities 23 and are persistent in the environment. With the prevalent use of plastic-based personal 24 protective equipment in the prevention of the spread of the COVID-19 virus, the 25 concentration of microplastics in the environment is envisaged to increase. Potential 26 ecological and health risks emanate from their potential to adsorb and transport toxic 27 chemicals, and ease of absorption into the cells of living organisms and interfering with 28 physiological processes. This review (1) discusses sources and pathways through which 29 microplastics enter the environment, (2) evaluates the fate and behaviour of microplastics, 30 (3) discusses microplastics in African aquatic systems, and (4) identifies research gaps, 31 and recommends remediation strategies. Importantly, while there is significant 32 microplastics pollution in the aquatic environment, pollution in terrestrial systems are not 33 widely studied. Besides, there is a dearth of information on microplastics in African 34 aquatic systems. The paper recommends that the governments and non-governmental 35 organizations should fund research to address knowledge gaps, which include: (1) the 36 environmental fate of microplastics, (2) conducting toxicological studies under 37 environmentally relevant conditions, (3) investigating toxicity mechanisms to biota, and 38 developing mitigation measures to safeguard human health, and (4) investigating 39 pollutants transported by microplastics. Moreover, regulatory measures, along with the 40 circular economy strategies, may help reduce microplastic pollution. 41
Chapter
MicroplasticsMicroplastics (MPs) and synthetic polymersSynthetic polymers (SPs) are emerging pollutants/contaminantsContaminants worldwide. Due to the significance of soilSoil environment and the demand from scientific communities for increased soil research, it is expected that related studies will rise steeply in the years to come. This present analysis aims to provide an overview of existing information about contamination in soil ecosystems by MPs and SPs. We precisely summarize the types, source, functional analytical methods, exposure routes, contamination of MPs in soils. We also carefully explain the influence of MPs on soil physicochemical properties, plants, and soil biotaBiota and determine what we are capable of learning from available data. The chapter critically assesses the efficient MP biodegradation strategies, showing the role of microorganisms and enzymesEnzyme in the processes with influencing factors of biodegradation. The chapter also outlines the problems of MPs pollution, which would be an emphasis on source management and cleanup.
Technical Report
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Seafood as a whole food is highly nutritious. Benefits to human health associated with the consumption of seafood are noted for multiple bodily organs and physiological functions. Seafood compares favourably with other protein sources as it offers superior macronutrients in the ideal form of lean proteins combined with healthy omega-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 LCPUFAs), and a wide array of highly bioavailable micronutrients. This exposition investigates the role of key nutrients present in seafood on human health. Particular focus is placed on marine sourced omega 3 fatty acids, protein, vitamins A, B12, D and E, iodine, selenium, calcium, zinc and iron. Centre of Excellence Science, Seafood & Health, Curtin Health Innovation Research Institute, Curtin University, Perth.
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Understanding how juveniles of the commercially important carangid species are associated with floating substrata is important to surveys aimed at potential effects on fisheries, species-habitats relationships and human impacts. Herein, the first record of association between the juvenile carangid fishes Caranx crysos, the jellyfish, Aurelia sp. and a floating plastic bag is reported in tropical rocky shores, northeastern Brazil.
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The ingestion of plastic fragments by 3 species of Gerreidae (Eugerres brasilianus, Eucinostomus melanopterus and Diapterus rhombeus) in a tropical estuary in Northeast Brazil was assessed for 3 different size classes corresponding to juveniles, sub-adults and adults. In all, 425 individuals were analysed. The gut contents of 13.4% of these individuals contained plastic debris. The only type of debris found was blue nylon fragments originating from ropes used in fishing. Artisanal fishing is the main local activity and was considered to represent the principal source of this marine debris. Significant differences in the number and weight of nylon fragments ingested were found between species and size classes. Moreover, a decrease in the weight of the gut contents was observed in the individuals that had ingested nylon fragments. In addition to the hypothesis that Gerreidae mistakenly identify nylon fragments as prey items, we propose 3 further possible pathways: (1) from fragments that the fishes' prey have already ingested; (2) through ingestion of fragments along with sediment that is sucked in during feeding; and (3) through ingestion of organisms that have aggregated on fragments.
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Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and heavy metals contribute to pollutants in aquaculture facilities and thus need to be further investigated. Besides, there is little information regarding PAHs and heavymetals in the tissues of cultured fish, and the risks associated to consumption. In this review, emphasis has been made on the detection of PAHs and heavy metals in cultured fish species which has relatively received little attention in the aquaculture industry compared to researches on the levels of PAHs and heavy metals from the wild catch. The reviewalso focuses on the detection of PAHs and heavy metals in most of the feed ingredients commonly used in the formulation of feed for farmed fish species. The use of chemicals like antibiotics, feed additives, soil and watertreatment and other products used in the aquaculture facility or site is also well emphasized and need to be well documented. Future research goals are well stressed and need to be given more attention in aquaculture. @JASEM
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The use of nanoparticles in consumer products, like cosmetic, sunscreens and electrical devices has increased tremendously the last decade, despite insufficient knowledge about their effects on human health and ecosystem function. Moreover, the amount of plastic waste products entering natural ecosystems, such as oceans and lakes, is increasing and degradation of the disposed plastics produces smaller particles towards the nano scale. Therefore it is of outmost importance to gain knowledge about how plastic nanoparticles enter and affect living organisms. Here we have administered polystyrene nanoparticles to fish through an aquatic food chain and studied the effects on behavior and metabolism. We find severe effects on feeding and shoaling behavior as well as metabolism in the fish. Hence, we conclude that polystyrene nanoparticles have severe effects on both behavior and on metabolism in fish and that commonly used nano-sized particles may have considerable effects on natural systems and on ecosystem services derived from them.
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The marine debris ingested by megafauna species (Trichiurus lepturus, Chelonia mydas, Pontoporia blainvillei, and Sotalia guianensis) was recorded in a coastal area of southeastern Brazil (21-23°S). Marine debris was recorded in all species, mainly consisting of plastic material (flexible and hard plastics - clear, white, and colored- and nylon filaments). The 'pelagic predators' T. lepturus and S. guianesis showed the lowest percent frequencies of debris ingestion (0.7% and 1.3%, respectively), followed by the 'benthic predator' P. blainvillei (15.7%) and the 'benthic herbivorous C. mydas (59.2%). The debris found in C. mydas stomachs was opportunistically ingested during feeding activities on local macroalgal banks. In the study area, the benthic environment accumulates more anthropogenic debris than the pelagic environment, and benthic/demersal feeders are more susceptible to encounters and ingestion. The sub-lethal effects observed in C. mydas, such as intestinal obstruction due to hardened fecal material, should be considered a local conservation concern.
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In total, 28 687 large sharks were caught between 1978 and 2000 in the nets that protect users of the popular swimming beaches of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, against shark attack. Over this 23-year period, 53 sharks (0.18% of the catch) were found with polypropylene strapping bands around the body. Less than 1% of the individuals from each of eight species were entangled in this manner. The dusky shark Carcharhinus obscurus was the most frequently entangled species, with 27 individuals (0.47% of the species catch). There was an increase in the incidence of entangled C. obscurus with time. Those examined in the laboratory were significantly underweight. Although entanglement may ultimately result in death, the low incidence recorded in this study is unlikely to affect the populations of sharks concerned. A total of 60 sharks (0.38% of those with recorded stomach contents) had ingested plastic debris. The most common items were packets or sheets. There was no increase in the ingestion of plastics with time. The highest frequency of occurrence was in the tiger shark Galeocerdo cuvier, with 38 individuals (7.5% of tiger sharks examined).
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Plastic pellets are worldwide contaminants that accumulate in the ocean, especially in sandy beaches, where their historic standing-stock quantification relies on surface sediment samples. We demonstrated these particles present a three-dimensional instead of a simple along-across shore distribution, being found as deep as 2.0 m, with surface layers accounting for <10% of the total abundance in the sediment column. This gradient seemed to be more related to oceanographic rather than anthropic processes, suggesting a general pattern whose applicability to microplastics and sedimentary environments as a whole should be investigated. This poses criticism in the exactness of standing-stock records and demands urgent discussion of sampling protocols.
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There have been numerous reports of plastic debris accumulation in surface waters of the central North Pacific Subtropical Gyre. Further, incidences have been reported of plastic ingestion by different marine organisms, including seabirds and small planktivorous fishes. Diet studies (2007 to 2012) of predatory pelagic fishes from this general region showed repeat observations of anthropogenic marine debris ingestion in 7 species (n = 595 individuals examined). Incidence rates ranged from <1% in Gempylus serpens to 58% in Lampris sp. (small-eye). Of all individuals 19% contained some form of marine debris, the majority of which was some form of plastic or fishing-related line. Surprisingly, species with the highest incidences of debris ingestion are thought to be primarily mesopelagic and unlikely to come into contact with surface waters containing known debris fields. Ingested debris pieces were found to be positively buoyant in seawater mimicking different depths. These observations are the first of their kind in scope and number, and suggest that more attention should be given to marine debris in subsurface waters as well as to poorly understood organismal and food web implications.
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Plastic debris litters aquatic habitats globally, the majority of which is microscopic (< 1 mm), and is ingested by a large range of species. Risks associated with such small fragments come from the material itself and from chemical pollutants that sorb to it from surrounding water. Hazards associated with the complex mixture of plastic and accumulated pollutants are largely unknown. Here, we show that fish, exposed to a mixture of polyethylene with chemical pollutants sorbed from the marine environment, bioaccumulate these chemical pollutants and suffer liver toxicity and pathology. Fish fed virgin polyethylene fragments also show signs of stress, although less severe than fish fed marine polyethylene fragments. We provide baseline information regarding the bioaccumulation of chemicals and associated health effects from plastic ingestion in fish and demonstrate that future assessments should consider the complex mixture of the plastic material and their associated chemical pollutants.
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Ingestion of marine debris can have lethal and sublethal effects on sea turtles and other wildlife. Although researchers have reported on ingestion of anthropogenic debris by marine turtles and implied incidences of debris ingestion have increased over time, there has not been a global synthesis of the phenomenon since 1985. Thus, we analyzed 37 studies published from 1985 to 2012 that report on data collected from before 1900 through 2011. Specifically, we investigated whether ingestion prevalence has changed over time, what types of debris are most commonly ingested, the geographic distribution of debris ingestion by marine turtles relative to global debris distribution, and which species and life-history stages are most likely to ingest debris. The probability of green (Chelonia mydas) and leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) ingesting debris increased significantly over time, and plastic was the most commonly ingested debris. Turtles in nearly all regions studied ingest debris, but the probability of ingestion was not related to modeled debris densities. Furthermore, smaller, oceanic-stage turtles were more likely to ingest debris than coastal foragers, whereas carnivorous species were less likely to ingest debris than herbivores or gelatinovores. Our results indicate oceanic leatherback turtles and green turtles are at the greatest risk of both lethal and sublethal effects from ingested marine debris. To reduce this risk, anthropogenic debris must be managed at a global level.
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One of the primary threats to ocean ecosystems from plastic pollution is ingestion by marine organisms. Well-documented in seabirds, turtles, and marine mammals, ingestion by fish and sharks has received less attention until recently. We suggest that fishes of a variety of sizes attack drifting plastic with high frequency, as evidenced by the apparent bite marks commonly left behind. We examined 5518 plastic items from random plots on Kamilo Point, Hawai'i Island, and found 15.8% to have obvious signs of attack. Extrapolated to the entire amount of debris removed from the 15km area, over 1.3tons of plastic is attacked each year. Items with a bottle shape, or those blue or yellow in color, were attacked with a higher frequency. The triangular edges or punctures left by teeth ranged from 1 to 20mm in width suggesting a variety of species attack plastic items. More research is needed to document the specific fishes and rates of plastic ingestion.
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The diet of the large pelagic fish, the southern opah Lampris immaculatus was examined along the Patagonian Shelf in the Falkland Islands region. Stomachs were available for 69 fish collected in 1993 and 1994. Surprisingly, this fish had a relatively narrow range of prey items. The single most frequent prey item was the onychoteuthid squid Moroteuthis ingens (predominantly juveniles) which was eaten by 93% of the fish. The other important prey were the loliginid squid Loligo gahi, the myctophid fish Gymnoscopelus nicholsi and the southern blue whiting Micromesistius australis. There was no evidence of larger individuals of L. immaculatus ingesting larger individuals of any of the 4 main prey species. An unexpected finding was the relatively high incidence of plastic ingestion (14 % of fish). The plastic came from a variety of sources including food, napkin and cigarette wrappers and various pieces of plastic line and straps used in securing boxes. In several instances, there was evidence of feeding on fishing boat discards. The findings reveal a significant impact of plastic pollution in this region of the Southwest Atlantic.
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To quantify the occurrence of ingested plastic in fish species caught at different geographical positions in the North Sea, and to test whether the fish condition is affected by ingestion of plastics, 1203 individual fish of seven common North Sea species were investigated: herring, grey gurnard, whiting, horse mackerel, haddock, Atlantic mackerel, and cod. Plastic particles were found in 3.2 % of the examined fish and in five of the seven species. In most cases only one particle was found per fish, ranging in sizes from 0.04 to 4.8 mm, with a median size of 0.6 mm. The frequency of fish with a plastic particle was significantly higher (7.2%) in the southern North Sea, than in the northern North Sea above 55°N (1.3%). The highest frequency (>33%) was found in cod from the British Channel. In addition, small fibres were initially detected in most of the samples, but their abundance sharply decreased when working under special clean air conditions. Therefore these fibres were considered to be artefacts related to air born contamination and were excluded from the analyses. No relationship was found between the condition of the fish and the ingested small plastic particles.
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Lost and discarded marine debris, particularly items made of persistent synthetic materials, is now recognized as a major form of marine pollution. This perception was a seminal finding of the 1984 International Workshop on the Fate and Impact of Marine Debris (Shomura and Yoshida 1985). A major factor leading to this conclusion was information on the nature and extent of interactions between marine debris and marine life gathered by researchers working independently in different ocean areas during the 1970s and early 1980s. Compiled for the first time at the 1984 workshop, the information highlighted two fundamental types of biological interactions: (1) entanglement, whereby the loops and openings of various types of debris entangle animal appendages or entrap animals; and (2) ingestion, whereby debris items are intentionally or accidentally eaten and enter the digestive tract.
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Policies for managing plastic debris are outdated and threaten the health of people and wildlife, say Chelsea M. Rochman, Mark Anthony Browne and colleagues.
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In fall of 2009, several mass strandings of Humboldt squid (Dosidicus gigas) occurred on Vancouver Island (49 degrees 7' 60N 125 degrees 54'0W). Morphological dissections coupled with DNA barcoding of stomach contents revealed Sardinops sagax (Pacific sardine) and Clupea pallasii (Pacific herring) as their primary prey. Plastic nurdles, fishing line, bull kelp, eelgrass, and a guillemot feather were also discovered. The primary prey, Pacific sardines and Pacific herring, are known to bioaccumulate paralytic shellfish toxins (PSTs); additionally, both PSTs and domoic acid (DA) have been implicated in other mass strandings. Therefore, stomach contents, and other tissues when possible, were tested for PSTs and DA. Testing revealed DA concentrations below regulatory guidance levels for human consumption, yet PSTs were well in excess. Though we cannot conclude that PSTs were the definitive cause of the strandings, our findings are the first report of PSTs in D. gigas.
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The study of feeding habits of the Atlantic bluefin tuna was carried out in 123 specimens, ranging from 115 to 222 cm fork length (FL) and collected during spring seasons of 2010 and 2011 in the central Mediterranean Sea (Strait of Messina). The analysis of stomach contents allowed us to identify 91 taxa of prey items, mainly belonging to Teleostea (54), Cephalopoda (20) and Crustacea (13). The percentage of index of relative abundance (IRI) shows the highest values for the myctophid Hygophum benoiti (%IRI = 22.854) and the stomiid Chauliodus sloani (%IRI = 15.124), followed by the oegopsid squid Illex coindetii (%IRI = 14.316). The broad spectrum of prey items could suggest a generalist behavior of this predator, with several species that occasionally occurs in its diet. However, if prey are grouped into food categories, the importance of mesopelagic and benthopelagic fishes can be appreciated (54.41 % of %IRI). The assessment of the hypothetical foraging rhythm of the Atlantic bluefin tuna highlighted that its feeding activity is concentrated on diel migrating fauna during night and on larger preys upon daylight. The predation on the high energetic food as mesopelagic and bathypelagic fishes during the pre-spawning and the spawning period may bring an energetic advantage in tuna metabolism and gonadal maturation
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Fish behavior can be altered by contaminants. There is an extensive literature on laboratory behavioral assays, with many chemicals impairing feeding or predator avoidance. However, there is not extensive work on fishes that live in contaminated environments. Therefore, we then review our recent research on feeding and trophic relations of populations from contaminated estuaries compared with relatively unpolluted sites. The mummichog Fundulus heteroclitus, is a non-migratory fish; those from more contaminated areas are poor predators and slower to capture active prey (grass shrimp, Palaemonetes pugio). In the field, they consume much detritus and sediment, which is not nutritious. They are less active than fish from cleaner sites and more vulnerable to predation. They have altered thyroid glands and neurotransmitter levels, which may underlie altered behaviors. Fish from the reference site kept in tanks with sediment and food from the polluted site showed bioaccumulation and reduced prey capture after two months, although fish from the polluted site did not show significant improvement when maintained in a clean environment. Poor nutrition and predator avoidance may be responsible for their being smaller and having a shorter life span than reference fish. Bluefish Pomatomus saltatrix, are a marine species in which the young-of-the-year spend their first summer in estuaries. We found bioaccumulation of contaminants and reduced activity, schooling, and feeding in young-of-the-year bluefish from a relatively unpolluted site that were fed prey fish from a contaminated site. They also had altered thyroid glands and neurotransmitter levels. Many field-caught specimens had empty stomachs, which is rare in this species. In the fall, when they migrate back out to the ocean, they are smaller, slower, and more likely to starve or to be eaten than those that spent their summer in cleaner estuaries.
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Artisanal fisheries in tropical estuaries are an important economic activity worldwide. However, gear (e.g. ropes, nets, buoys, crates) and vessels are often in use under dangerous conditions. Polyfilament nylon ropes are used until they are well beyond human and environmental safety limits. Severe wear and tear results in the contamination of the environment with micro-fragments. The spread of these fragments in the marine environment and their ingestion by the biota are documented in the scientific literature and are increasing concerns. The aim of this study was to evaluate the ingestion of plastic fragments by two fish (drum) species in relation to seasonal, habitat and fish size-class variation. The stomach contents of 569 individuals of Stellifer brasiliensis and Stellifer stellifer from the main channel of the Goiana Estuary were examined to identify variation in the number and the weight of plastic fragments and relate this variation to differences among the seasons (early dry, late dry, early rainy and late rainy), the habitats within the estuary (upper, middle and lower) and the size classes of the fish (juveniles, sub-adults and adults). Plastic fragments were found in 7.9% of the individuals of these two drum species captured from December 2005 to August 2008. Nylon fragments occurred in 9.2% of S. stellifer and 6.9% of S. brasiliensis stomachs. The highest number of nylon fragments ingested was observed in adults during the late rainy season in the middle estuary. Blue polyfilament nylon ropes are used extensively in fisheries and can be lost, inappropriately discarded or damaged during use in the estuary. These fragments were the only type of plastic detected during this study. The ingestion of nylon fragments by fish probably occurred during the animals' normal feeding activities. During the rainy season, the discharge of freshwater transports nylon fragments to the main channel and makes the fragments more available to fish. Fishery activities are responsible for a significant amount of the marine debris found in the estuary. The ingestion of fragments of nylon threads by fish is a demonstrated form of pollution in the Goiana Estuary. The physiological and toxicological consequences of the ingestion of this type of debris are unknown, as is the actual extent of the problem worldwide. The solutions to the problem are in the hands of authorities and communities alike because the good care and timely replacement of gear requires education, investment and effective policies.
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The accumulation of synthetic debris in marine and coastal environments is a consequence of the intensive and continuous release of these highly persistent materials. This study investigates the current status of marine debris ingestion by sea turtles and seabirds found along the southern Brazilian coast. All green turtles (n=34) and 40% of the seabirds (14 of 35) were found to have ingested debris. No correlation was found between the number of ingested items and turtle's size or weight. Most items were found in the intestine. Plastic was the main ingested material. Twelve Procellariiformes (66%), two Sphenisciformes (22%), but none of the eight Charadriiformes were found to be contaminated. Procellariiformes ingested the majority of items. Plastic was also the main ingested material. The ingestion of debris by turtles is probably an increasing problem on southern Brazilian coast. Seabirds feeding by diverse methods are contaminated, highlighting plastic hazard to these biota.
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This study focuses, for the first time, on the presence of plastic debris in the stomach contents of large pelagic fish (Xiphias gladius, Thunnus thynnus and Thunnus alalunga) caught in the Mediterranean Sea between 2012 and 2013. Results highlighted the ingestion of plastics in the 18.2% of samples. The plastics ingested were microplastics (<5mm), mesoplastics (5-25mm) and macroplastics (>25mm). These preliminary results represent an important initial phase in exploring two main ecotoxicological aspects: (a) the assessment of the presence and impact of plastic debris on these large pelagic fish, and (b) the potential effects related to the transfer of contaminants on human health. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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Ingestion of plastic debris by many types of animals such as turtles and seabirds is well documented and considered to be a serious threat to their survival. Marine fishes also ingest plastic debris but the amount ingested and the effect of the ingested debris are not well documented. If large amounts of inert plastic debris were ingested, it might affect the fishes' well-being by blocking the digestive tract and reducing the feeding drive. A l s o , certain types of debris could cause injury to the digestive tract and, depending on its chemical composi-tion, might even have a toxic effect. In this paper we review the literature to determine what is known about ingestion of plastics by marine fishes and report on our studies on ingestion of plastic particles by larvae and juveniles. There is at present no comprehensive list of fishes known to have ingested plastic. However, observations made incidental to other studies indicate that many species do at least occasionally ingest plastic. larvae, juveniles, and adults of both pelagic and demersal species. Currently, there is no clear evidence that juvenile and adult fish have been affected by ingesting plastic. Studies in the field on larval fish have suggested that swallowed plastic spheres could cause intestinal blockage and that poly-chlorinated biphenyls associated with the surface of the spherules could have toxic effects. Plastics have been found in Laboratory experiments to determine the effects of plastic ingestion on larval and juvenile fish have been equivocal. In some cases the fish were observed to take particles, but then reject them. We have found in our laboratory studies on larvae that five of six species tested--Atlantic menhaden, Brevoortia tyrannus, pinfish, Lagodon rhomboides, spot, Leiostomus xanthurus, striped mullet, Mugil cephalus, and two species of flounder, Paralichthys spp.--will feed on polystyrene microspheres. However, only spot and mullet were found to have particles in their gut. Particles passed from the gut after a period of time and larvae subsequently fed on brine shrimp larvae.