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Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2018 Mar 26;15(4). pii: E597. doi: 10.3390/ijerph15040597.

Microplastic Contamination of Wild and Captive Flathead Grey Mullet (Mugil cephalus).

Author information

1
Department of Social Sciences, The Education University of Hong Kong, Tai Po, New Territories, Hong Kong, China. ltocheung@eduhk.hk.
2
Department of Social Sciences, The Education University of Hong Kong, Tai Po, New Territories, Hong Kong, China. luicy@eduhk.hk.
3
Department of Science and Environmental Studies, The Education University of Hong Kong, Tai Po, New Territories, Hong Kong, China. lfok@eduhk.hk.

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.

KEYWORDS:

captive mullets; ingestion; marine pollution; microplastic; wild mullets

PMID:
29587444
PMCID:
PMC5923639
DOI:
10.3390/ijerph15040597
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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