Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 26, Issue 23, pp 23777–23787 | Cite as

Abundance and properties of microplastics found in commercial fish meal and cultured common carp (Cyprinus carpio)

  • Parichehr Hanachi
  • Samaneh KarbalaeiEmail author
  • Tony R. Walker
  • Matthew Cole
  • Seyed V. Hosseini
Research Article


Microplastics (MPs) are environmental contaminants that are of increasing global concern. This study investigated the presence of MPs in four varieties of marine-derived commercial fish meal, followed by identification of their polymer composition using Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy. Exposure experiments were conducted on cultured common carp (Cyprinus carpio) by feeding four varieties of commercially available fish meal to determine relationships between abundance and properties of MPs found both in meal and in those transferred to cultured common carp. Mean particle sizes were 452 ± 161 μm (± SD). Fragments were the predominant shape of MP found in fish meal (67%) and C. carpio gastrointestinal tract and gills (65%), and polypropylene and polystyrene were the most present plastic polymers found in fish meal (45% and 24%, respectively) and C. carpio (37% and 33%, respectively). Positive relationships were found between MP levels in fish meal and C. carpio. This study highlights that marine-derived fish meal may be a source of MPs which can be transferred to cultured fish, thus posing a concern for aquaculture.


Microplastics (MPs) Fish meal Common carp (Cyprinus carpioGastrointestinal tract Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy Accumulation 


Funding information

This work was supported by Iran National Science Foundation (INSF), Tehran (grant number 97001707).

Supplementary material

11356_2019_5637_MOESM1_ESM.docx (172 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 172 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Parichehr Hanachi
    • 1
  • Samaneh Karbalaei
    • 1
    Email author
  • Tony R. Walker
    • 2
  • Matthew Cole
    • 3
  • Seyed V. Hosseini
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Biology, Biochemistry UnitAlzahra UniversityTehranIran
  2. 2.School for Resource and Environmental StudiesDalhousie UniversityHalifaxCanada
  3. 3.Marine Ecology and Biodiversity groupPlymouth Marine LaboratoryPlymouthUK
  4. 4.Department of Fisheries, College of Agriculture & Natural ResourcesTehran UniversityKarajIran

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