Plastic ingestion by fish: A global assessment

Valter M. Azevedo-Santos, Geslaine R.L. Gonçalves, Pedro S. Manoel, Marcelo C. Andrade, Felipe P. Lima, Fernando M. Pelicice

Research output: Contribution to journalLetterpeer-review

87 Citations (Scopus)


[Graphical abstract]

There is a growing concern about pollution by plastic particles — which may have many compositions (e.g., polyamides, polyvinyl chloride) and different sizes. Currently, these polymers are found in all types of ecosystems, including freshwater, estuarine, and marine (e.g., Law et al., 2010; Sadri and Thompson, 2014; Lebreton et al., 2017). Plastic wastes are observed even in pristine regions, for instance, the most isolated islands in the Pacific Ocean (Lavers and Bond, 2017).

Marine ecosystems are the final destination of most plastic wastes (Eriksen et al., 2014), many of which travel through river systems toward the ocean (Lebreton et al., 2017). When plastic wastes reach aquatic ecosystems (e.g., rivers, lakes, ocean), they can be in their original size, large (i.e., macroplastic), or small fragments (i.e., nano, micro, or mesoplastic). Once in the environment, the interaction of plastic with biodiversity is expected (Lusher et al., 2015; Desforges et al., 2015; Nelms et al., 2015). The ingestion of plastic by animals is common (e.g., Cardozo et al., 2018; Murray and Cowie, 2011; Lusher et al., 2013), and cases of “entanglement” have been reported, with physical and physiological effects (Derraik, 2002).

Original languageEnglish
Article number112994
JournalEnvironmental Pollution
Publication statusPublished - 18 Sept 2019


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