This study compared plastic ingestion between pelagic and benthic fish populations from two UK watersheds: the Thames Estuary and the Firth of Clyde. The alimentary canals of 876 individuals were examined. Of twenty-one estuarine species investigated, fourteen ingested plastics, including predator (fish) and prey (shrimp) species. Overall, 32% of organisms ingested plastic, mostly fibres (88% of total plastics). More flatfish (38%) ingested plastics than other benthic species (17%). In the Thames, more plastic was ingested by pelagic species (average number of plastic pieces ingested: 3.2) and flatfish (average number of plastic pieces ingested: 2.9) than by shrimp (average number of plastic pieces ingested: 1). More fish from the Clyde ingested plastic than similar Thames species (39% compared to 28% respectively); however, the average amount of plastic ingested did not differ between the sites.
Keywords: FTIR spectroscopy; Firth of Clyde fish populations; Microfibres; Microplastics; Thames Estuary.
Crown Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.