Ingestion of plastic marine debris by longnose lancetfish (Alepisaurus ferox) in the North Pacific Ocean

Mar Pollut Bull. 2013 Apr 15;69(1-2):97-104. doi: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2013.01.019. Epub 2013 Mar 7.


Plastic marine debris affects species on most trophic levels, including pelagic fish. While plastic debris ingestion has been investigated in planktivorous fish in the North Pacific Ocean, little knowledge exists on piscivorous fish. The objectives of this study were to determine the frequency of occurrence and the composition of ingested plastic marine debris in longnose lancetfish (Alepisaurus ferox), a piscivorous fish species captured in the Hawaii-based pelagic longline fishery. Nearly a quarter (47 of 192) of A. ferox sampled contained plastic marine debris, primarily in the form of plastic fragments (51.9%). No relationship existed between size (silhouette area) or amount of plastic marine debris ingested and morphometrics of A. ferox. Although A. ferox are not consumed by humans, they are common prey for fish commercially harvested for human consumption. Further research is needed to determine residence time of ingested plastic marine debris and behavior of toxins associated with plastic debris.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Eating
  • Environmental Monitoring
  • Fishes / metabolism*
  • Gastrointestinal Contents / chemistry*
  • Hawaii
  • Pacific Ocean
  • Plastics / analysis*
  • Plastics / metabolism
  • Waste Products / analysis*
  • Waste Products / statistics & numerical data
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical / analysis*
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical / metabolism


  • Plastics
  • Waste Products
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical