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Ingestion of plastic by fish destined for human consumption in remote South Pacific Islands

Forrest, AK and Hindell, M ORCID: 0000-0002-7823-7185 2018 , 'Ingestion of plastic by fish destined for human consumption in remote South Pacific Islands' , Australian Journal of Maritime and Ocean Affairs, vol. 10, no. 2 , pp. 81-97 , doi: 10.1080/18366503.2018.1460945.

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Plastic marine debris is increasingly recognised as one of thegreatest threats to global oceans, and the humans who dependon them. This study documents plastic ingestion in 24 speciescaught or sold for human consumption in the South Pacific. Fishwere collected from local fishermen and markets in remotelocations, including French Polynesia, Lord Howe Island andHenderson Island (Pitcairn group). Gastrointestinal tracts of 126fish were visually examined and plastic was found in 7.9% ofindividual fish and 25% of species. The plastics were mostlymicroplastics (fragments, nurdles and rope). There was nosignificant difference in plastic ingestion in relation to feedingstyle, length, region or species. This is concerning as plasticappears to be widespread across species, lifestyles and habitats.This is the first report of plastic in South Pacific fish, raisingconcerns about the transfer of pollutants in a region that is largelyoceanic and heavily dependent on seafood. The remote locationsof the study also provide evidence of the widespread nature ofthis issue.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Forrest, AK and Hindell, M
Keywords: fish, plastic, marine debris
Journal or Publication Title: Australian Journal of Maritime and Ocean Affairs
Publisher: Routledge
ISSN: 1836-6503
DOI / ID Number: 10.1080/18366503.2018.1460945
Copyright Information:

© 2018 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group

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