Dynamics in Microplastic Ingestion During the Past Six Decades in Herbivorous Fish on the Mediterranean Israeli Coast
Examination of the digestive tracts of two species of siganids (rabbitfish), collected in 2016 in the Mediterranean coastal waters of Israel, for the presence of microplastics (MP) revealed that 92% of the 88 fish examined had consumed between 1 and >500 MP per fish. A comparison of the gut contents of fish that had been collected from the 1960s to the present time showed that there was a temporal increase in the proportion of fish with MP, from ~10% in 1960–1970; ~80% in the 1990s; 92% in 2016. There was also a temporal change in the proportion of MP types ingested by these fish. Siganids may be valuable bioindicators of MP pollution in the sea.
The authors would like to thank Prof. Menachem Goren and the Shteinhardt Museum of Natural History of the Tel Aviv University and Dr. Dani Golani and the Zoological Museum of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem for making this study possible.
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