Microplastic contamination of wild and captive flathead grey mullet (Mugil cephalus)

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Abstract

A total of 60 flathead grey mullets were examined for microplastic ingestion. Thirty wild mullets were captured from the eastern coast of Hong Kong and 30 captive mullets were obtained from fish farms. Microplastic ingestion was detected in 60% of the wild mullets, with an average of 4.3 plastic items per mullet, while only 16.7% of captive mullets were found to have ingested microplastics, with an average of 0.2 items per mullet. The results suggested that wild mullets have a higher risk of microplastic ingestion than their captive counterparts. The most common plastic items were fibres that were green in colour and small in size (<2 mm). Polypropylene was the most common polymer (42%), followed by polyethylene (25%). In addition, the abundance of microplastics was positively correlated with larger body size among the mullets. Copyright © 2018 by the authors.
Original languageEnglish
Article number597
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume15
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2018

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Smegmamorpha
Eating
Plastics
Fisheries
Polypropylenes
Body Size
Hong Kong
Polyethylene
Polymers
Color

Citation

Cheung, L. T. O., Lui, C. Y., & Fok, L. (2018). Microplastic contamination of wild and captive flathead grey mullet (Mugil cephalus). International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 15(4). Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15040597

Keywords

  • Microplastic
  • Ingestion
  • Captive mullets
  • Wild mullets
  • Marine pollution