Abundance and Characteristics of Microplastics in Commercially sold fishes from Cebu Island, Philippines

Bianca Sofia F. Abiñon, Boniver S. Camporedondo, Esther Mae B. Mercadal, Kathryn Marie R. Olegario, Evan Marie H. Palapar, Chrisian Wilfred R. Ypil, Antonio E. Tambuli, Christine Anna Lou M. Lomboy, Jake Joshua Chi Garces

Abstract

This study documents microplastics (MPs) in the top three commercially sold fishes viz. Auxis rochei, Rastrelliger kanagurta and Chanos chanos in major public markets of Cebu Island, Philippines. MPs were found in the gastrointestinal tracts (FGIT) and quantified and characterized according to size, type, and color. In general, nine (97.3%) of 81 FGIT samples contained 635 total pieces of MPs with size ranging 0.01 to 0.50 and 1.00 to 2.00 mm. Transparent microfibers (91%) were the most predominant MPs, with blue (48%) as the most common MP color observed, followed by red (39%), black (8%) and white (5%). Chanos chanos proved to be the most susceptible fish to MP ingestion with a mean average of 11.6 pieces per individual fish, followed by A. rochei with 6.6 pieces, and R. kanagurta with 5.3 pieces. The results indicated that MPs were ubiquitous and high in commercially sold fishes in major public wet markets of Cebu Island, Philippines. The ingestion of fishes is of primary concern as a route of human exposure to MPs because they filter a large volume of seawater and are typically eaten whole without gut removal. Further study is needed on the potential consequences of MPs to aquatic populations to assess comprehensive exposure integrating multiple sources and routes.

 

Keywords

MPs, Wet public market, Commercially sold fishes, Plastic pollution.

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