Microplastic litter composition of the Turkish territorial waters of the Mediterranean Sea, and its occurrence in the gastrointestinal tract of fish

Guven, Olgac
Goekdag, Kerem
Jovanovic, Boris
Kıdeyş, Ahmet Erkan
Microplastic pollution of marine environment is receiving increased publicity over the last few years. The present survey is, according to our knowledge, the survey with the largest sample size analyzed, to date. In total, 1337 specimens of fish were examined for the presence of plastic microlitter representing 28 species and 14 families. In addition, samples of seawater and sediment were also analyzed for the quantification of microplastic in the same region. Samples of water/sediment were collected from 18 locations along the Mediterranean coast of Turkey. 94% of all collected plastic microlitter from the sea was in the size range between 0.1 and 2.5 mm, while the occurrence of other sizes was rare. The quantity of microplastic particles in surface water samples ranged from 16 339 to 520 213 per km(2). Fish were collected from 10 locations from which 8 were either shared with or situated in the proximity of water/sediment sampling locations. A total of 1822 microplastic particles were extracted from stomach and intestines of fish. Majority of ingested particles were represented by fibers (70%) and hard plastic (20.8%), while the share of other groups: nylon (2.7%), rubber (0.8%) and miscellaneous plastic (5.5%) were low. The blue color of plastic was the most dominant color. 34% of all examined fish had microplastic in the stomach. On average, fish which had microplastic contained 1.80 particles per stomach. 41% of all fish had microplastic in the intestines with an average of 1.81 particles per fish. 771 specimens contained microplastic in either stomach and/or intestines representing 58% of the total sample with an average of 2.36 particles per fish. Microplastic was found in all species/families that had sample size of at least 2 individuals. The number of particles present in either stomach or intestines ranged between 1 and 35. Ingested microplastic had an average diameter +/- SD of 656 +/- 803 mu m, however particles as small as 9 gm were detected. The trophic level of fish species had no influence whatsoever on the amount of ingested microplastic. Pelagic fish ingested more microplastic than demersal species. In general, fish that ingested higher number of microplastic particles originated from the sites that also had a higher particle count in the seawater and sediment.


Gökdağ, Kerem; Kıdeyş, Ahmet Erkan; Department of Marine Biology and Fisheries (2017-12-28)
Marine litter and microplastic pollution is a growing problem for the world and Turkish seas. In this study, the levels of microplastics in surface water, water column, sediment as well as in fish digestive system from the northeastern Mediterranean Sea were studied in 2015 and 2016. The impact of virgin microplastics on seabream juveniles was also investigated at the laboratory. Number of microplastics in surface water were between 16339 and 520213 particles km-2 in 2015, and, between 39559 and 1043675 pa...
Aydın, Mustafa; Güneş, Şule; Yücel, Mustafa; Department of Earth System Science (2021-7-8)
Marine litter is a global issue affecting all the world's oceans, posing environmental, economic, health and aesthetic problems. Linear economies create the problem, and inadequate solid waste management practices and lack of wastewater collection and treatment infrastructure -which enable the collection of microplastics- cause the plastic material flows to rivers and the oceans. Plastics are the primary driver of marine litter. The resistance of the plastics sector to shift through a lesser plastic d...
Biomanipulation as a Restoration Tool to Combat Eutrophication: Recent Advances and Future Challenges
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Microplastics composition and load from three wastewater treatment plants discharging into Mersin Bay, north eastern Mediterranean Sea
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Citation Formats
O. Guven, K. Goekdag, B. Jovanovic, and A. E. Kıdeyş, “Microplastic litter composition of the Turkish territorial waters of the Mediterranean Sea, and its occurrence in the gastrointestinal tract of fish,” ENVIRONMENTAL POLLUTION, pp. 286–294, 2017, Accessed: 00, 2020. [Online]. Available: https://hdl.handle.net/11511/32490.