Microplastics and seafood: lower trophic organisms at highest risk of contamination

Chris Walkinshaw, Penelope K. Lindeque, Richard Thompson, Trevor Tolhurst, Matthew Cole

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

71 Citations (Scopus)
32 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Microplastic debris is a prevalent global pollutant that poses a risk to marine organisms and ecological processes. It is also suspected to pose a risk to marine food security; however, these risks are currently poorly understood. In this review, we seek to understand the current knowledge pertaining to the contamination of commercially important fished and farmed marine organisms with microplastics, with the aim of answering the question “Does microplastic pollution pose a risk to marine food security?“. A semi-systematic review of studies investigating the number of microplastics found in commercially important organisms of different trophic levels suggests that microplastics do not biomagnify, and that organisms at lower trophic levels are more likely to contaminated by microplastic pollution than apex predators. We address the factors that influence microplastic consumption and retention by organisms. This research has implications for food safety and highlights the risks of microplastics to fisheries and aquaculture, and identifies current knowledge gaps within this research field.
Original languageEnglish
Article number110066
Number of pages14
JournalEcotoxicology and Environmental Safety
Volume190
Early online date12 Dec 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2020

Keywords

  • 1ST EVIDENCE
  • ATLANTIC
  • Aquaculture
  • Biomagnification
  • COD GADUS-MORHUA
  • DEMERSAL FISH
  • EXPOSURE
  • Food security
  • MARINE-ENVIRONMENT
  • MUSSEL
  • MYTILUS-EDULIS L.
  • NORTH-SEA
  • PLASTIC INGESTION
  • Plastic
  • Trophic transfer

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