High levels of microplastic ingestion by commercial, planktivorous Alburnus tarichi in Lake Van, Turkey

Atıcı A. A. , Sepil A., Şen F.

Food Additives And Contaminants Part A-Chemistry Analysis Control Exposure & Risk Assessment, vol.38, no.10, pp.1767-1777, 2021 (SCI-Expanded)


Microplastic pollution of inland environments has been receiving increased publicity over the last few years. For the first time, this study reports on the presence of microplastics (0.1 mm to <5 mm) in the gastrointestinal tracts of Alburnus tarichi in Lake Van from January to April 2020. In total, 101 fishes were obtained from Citoren, Edremit, Gevas and Dagonu fisheries regions. A total of 3338 pieces of plastic, ranging from 8 to 124 samples per fish with averaging 34 ± 13 MPs/individual, were extracted from gastrointestinal tracts of fish. The majority of the ingested particles consisted of fibres (74%), and blue coloured material was the most consumed microplastic. The polymers identified by Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) were polyethylene and polypropylene. Consequently, this study suggested that the vast majority of A. tarichi were contaminated with microplastics and showed higher abundance in comparison with other worldwide studies so far.