Study area of the sampling locations in the Mediterranean Sea to assess ingestion of anthropogenic particles in four species of commercial and ecological interest :: Image: Authors

Beatriz Rios-Fuster, Carme Alomar, Montserrat Compa, Beatriz Guijarro, Salud Deudero, 2019. Anthropogenic particles ingestion in fish species from two areas of the western Mediterranean Sea. Marine Pollution Bulletin. Volume 144, July 2019, Pages 325-333.

Abstract: The Mediterranean Sea is one of the most polluted seas in terms of marine debris. To analyze the ingestion of anthropogenic particles in two areas, 197 gastrointestinal tracts from four fish species - Trachurus mediterraneus, Sardina pilchardus, Engraulis encrasicolus and Boops boops - were studied. 127 anthropogenic particles were identified in the gastrointestinal tract of 28% of the samples using visual sorting methods. Individuals from the peninsular coast showed higher ingestion occurrence (36%) than those from the Balearic Islands (12%). Significant differences in the ingestion of anthropogenic particles were found between species with Trachurus mediterraneus identified as the most affected species (43% of the individuals with mean values of 1.13 ± 0.16 particles/individual), and Engraulis encrasicolus, the least affected (2.56% and 0.03 ± 0.16 particles/individual). Moreover, the proportion of ingestion amongst species was similar in both areas, highlighting the importance of studying the same species at different locations as marine debris bioindicators.

Keywords: Marine litter, Microplastics, Microfibers, Feeding, Bioindicators