Eve Galimany, Montserrat Ramón and Maximino Delgado, (2009). First evidence of fiberglass ingestion by a marine invertebrate (Mytilus galloprovincialis L.) in a N.W. Mediterranean estuary. Marine Pollution Bulletin. Volume 58, Issue 9, September 2009, Pages 1334-1338

Abstract: Alfacs Bay is a N.W. Mediterranean estuary important for mussel (Mytilus galloprovincialis) aquaculture. During studies at the site, fiberglass particles were detected. The presence of fiberglass occurred naturally in the water throughout the study period (November 2006 to July 2007). An investigation was undertaken into its role in the feeding behavior of the local mussels. Fiberglass was present in all types of mussel samples. Rejection, which we would have expected for the whole study period, was only evident during the second season studied. To our knowledge, this is the first report of the ingestion of fiberglass by a marine organism. Our novel finding indicates the need to investigate fiberglass ingestion by marine organisms at different levels of the food web and the possible implications for human health and the health of the organisms themselves. In addition, we propose the use of mussels as sentinel organisms to monitor fiberglass contamination in marine ecosystems.

Keywords: Alfacs Bay; Fiberglass; Filter feeding; Gut content; Mediterranean Sea; Mytilus galloprovincialis