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Abundance and properties of microplastics found in commercial fish meal and cultured common carp (Cyprinus carpio)

Hanachi, Parichehr, Karbalaei, Samaneh, Walker, Tony R., Cole, Matthew, Hosseini, Seyed V.
Environmental science and pollution research international 2019 v.26 no.23 pp. 23777-23787
Cyprinus carpio, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, aquaculture, farmed fish, fish meal, gastrointestinal system, gills, microplastics, particle size, pollution, polypropylenes, polystyrenes
Microplastics (MPs) are environmental contaminants that are of increasing global concern. This study investigated the presence of MPs in four varieties of marine-derived commercial fish meal, followed by identification of their polymer composition using Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy. Exposure experiments were conducted on cultured common carp (Cyprinus carpio) by feeding four varieties of commercially available fish meal to determine relationships between abundance and properties of MPs found both in meal and in those transferred to cultured common carp. Mean particle sizes were 452 ± 161 μm (± SD). Fragments were the predominant shape of MP found in fish meal (67%) and C. carpio gastrointestinal tract and gills (65%), and polypropylene and polystyrene were the most present plastic polymers found in fish meal (45% and 24%, respectively) and C. carpio (37% and 33%, respectively). Positive relationships were found between MP levels in fish meal and C. carpio. This study highlights that marine-derived fish meal may be a source of MPs which can be transferred to cultured fish, thus posing a concern for aquaculture.