Plastic in North Sea Fish

Microplastics

To quantify the occurrence of ingested plastic in fish species caught at different geographical positions in the North Sea, and to test whether the fish condition is affected by ingestion of plastics, 1203 individual fish of seven common North Sea species were investigated: herring, gray gurnard, whiting, horse mackerel, haddock, atlantic mackerel, and cod. Plastic particles were found in 2.6% of the examined fish and in five of the seven species. No plastics were found in gray gurnard and mackerel. In most cases, only one particle was found per fish, ranging in size from 0.04 to 4.8 mm. Only particles larger than 0.2 mm, being the diameter of the sieve used, were considered for the data analyses, resulting in a median particle size of 0.8 mm. The frequency of fish with plastic was significantly higher (5.4%) in the southern North Sea, than in the northern North Sea above 55 degrees…

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