Using Boops boops (osteichthyes) to assess microplastic ingestion in the Mediterranean Sea

Date of publication 17 Aug 2020

Authors Tsangaris, Catherine; Digka, Nikoletta; Valente, Tommaso; Aguilar, Alex; Borrell, Asuncion; Lucia, Giuseppe Andrea de; Gambaiani, Delphine; Garcia-Garin, Odei; Kaberi, Helen; Martin, Jessica; Maurino, Elena; Miaud, Claude; Palazzo, Luca; Perez del Olmo, Ana; Antonio Raga, Juan; Sbrana, Alice; Silvestri, Cecilia; Skylaki, Ester; Vighi, Morgana; Wongdontree, Paprapach; Matiddi, Marco.

Sources Marine pollution bulletin : 158



This study assesses microplastic ingestion in Boops boops at different geographical areas in the Mediterranean Sea. A total of 884 fish were caught at 20 coastal sites in Spain, France, Italy and Greece and analyzed using a common methodological protocol. Microplastics were found in 46.8% of the sampled fish, with an average number of items per individual of 1.17 +/- 0.07. Filaments were the predominant shape type, while polyethylene and polypropylene were indicated by FTIR as the most common polymer types of ingested microplastics. The frequency of occurrence, as well as the abundance and proportion of types (size, shape, color and polymer) of ingested microplastics, varied among geographical areas. The spatial heterogeneity of the abundance of ingested microplastics was mainly related to the degree of coastal anthropogenic pressure at the sampling sites. Our findings further support the suitability of B. boops as bioindicator of microplastic pollution in the Mediterranean Sea.

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