The widespread presence of microplastics in global aquatic ecosystems has aroused growing concerns regarding their potential impact on aquatic biota. Data show an extensive plastic pollution in coastal areas of Guangdong, China, however, to date there has been no quantitative study on the ingestion of microplastics by commercial fishes from the estuarine areas. In this study, we analyzed the abundance, characteristics, species-specific and spatial distribution of microplastics in six species of commercial fish from estuarine areas of Guangdong. Sixty-four fish samples from nineteen sampling sites were investigated. The average abundance of microplastics in the gastrointestinal tracts of the commercial fishes was 5.4 items/individual, indicating potential food safety. The majority of microplastics were fibers, white in color and less than 1 mm in size. Species-specific and spatial distribution of the microplastics were observed in terms of abundance, shape, color and size. Sillago japonica had the highest (6.9 items/ individual), while Alepes djedaba had the lowest (3 items/individual) abundance of microplastics in the gastrointestinal tract. We recommend demersal Mugil cephalus and pelagic Konosirus punctatus to be considered as two species suitable for monitoring microplastics ingestion in the seafloor and water column communities. (C) 2020 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.