Microplastics in fishes of commercial and ecological importance from the Western Arabian Gulf
KAUST DepartmentKing Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Red Sea Research Center (RSRC), Computational BioScience Research Center (CBRC), Thuwal 23955-6900, Saudi Arabia
Biological and Environmental Sciences and Engineering (BESE) Division
Marine Science Program
Red Sea Research Center (RSRC)
Online Publication Date2020-02-17
Print Publication Date2020-03
Embargo End Date2022-01-19
Permanent link to this recordhttp://hdl.handle.net/10754/661550
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AbstractMicroplastic particles (MPs) in the gastrointestinal tracts of nine fish species of commercial importance from different habitats (coastal, pelagic, and reef-associated) in the Saudi EEZ of the Arabian Gulf were quantified and classified. A total of eight MPs were retrieved from a total of 140 individual fish examined, with an average of 0.057 ± 0.019 microplastic items per fish (excluding possible plastic fibers). On average, 5.71%, of the fish dissected contained MPs, ranging from 5 to 15% of individual fish examined containing MPs among species (Siganus canaliculatus and Rastrelliger kanagurta, respectively). Ingested plastic consisted primarily of fishing threads (1.04 ± 0.06 mm), followed by fragments (1.16 ± 0.11 mm). It is likely that the fibers, originated from the fisheries, recreational boating, laundry, domestic wastewater, and other human activities, which is also widespread and abundant (found in 58.58% of the fish studied). Polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) were identified as the most abundant polymers ingested by the fishes. There was no significant difference (p < 0.05) between the presence of microplastic in fish depending on their habitat. The prevalence of MPs is relatively low compared to those in other regions, despite the massive industrialization of the Saudi Arabian Gulf.
CitationBaalkhuyur, F. M., Qurban, M. A., Panickan, P., & Duarte, C. M. (2020). Microplastics in fishes of commercial and ecological importance from the Western Arabian Gulf. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 152, 110920. doi:10.1016/j.marpolbul.2020.110920
SponsorsThis research was funded by King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Saudi Arabia through baseline funding to C.M. Duarte and partly through Dr. Mohammed Qurban Director, Centre for Environment and Water, Research Institute, KFUPM, Saudi Arabia. The authors thank the staff at King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals, Dhahran, Saudi Arabia for their assistance in acquiring and transporting the fish samples to KAUST. We also thank Mr. Omar El Tall for his assistance with FT-IR and technical support and Mr.Syed Azher, GIS Analyst, CEW, KFUPM for preparing the GIS map of the fishing areas.
JournalMarine Pollution Bulletin