In an article published on May 7, 2015 in the digital news & lifestyle magazine TakePart, journalist John Platt reports about a new study on plastic contamination in fish of the Mediterranean Sea. The study, published in the peer-reviewed journal Marine Pollution Bulletin, showed that more than 18% of sampled bluefin tuna, albacore, and swordfish caught in the Mediterranean Sea in the period 2012-2013 carried levels of plastic pollution in their bodies. The ingested plastics varied in size from large pieces more than 25 mm wide to microplastics smaller than 5 mm. The swordfish were more likely to have ingested large plastic particles, while the albacore ingested mostly microplastics. As shown in previous studies, plastic litter in the marine environment contains potentially harmful chemicals added during production to enhance the performance of the plastic such as phthalates or bisphenol A (CAS 80-05-7). Therefore, the authors of the study see their results as an important initial phase in exploring (i) the impact of plastic debris on fish and (ii) whether consumption of fish containing plastic particles translates into potentially harmful exposures for people consuming seafood.
John Platt (May 7, 2015). “Toxic plastic found in the world’s favorite fish.” TakePart
Romeo, T. et al. (2015). “First evidence of presence of plastic debris in stomach of large pelagic fish in the Mediterranean Sea.” Marine Pollution Bulletin (available online April 30, 2015).