The levels of microplastics found in fish and other seafood samples from Sal Estuary in Goa are worrying, researchers at the National Institute of Oceanography (NIO) in Panaji said in a study.
Senior Scientist Dr. The study, led by Mahua Saha, indicated the presence of microplastics in water, sediment and biota (local animal and plant life) from the estuary.
A paper based on the study of the result of two years long research by scientists of CSIR-NIO, was published in the leading scientific journal “Chemosphere”.
During a study titled “Microplastics in Seafood: An Emerging Threat to the Marine Environment: A Case Study in Goa”, researchers collected samples of four species of finfish from two sites. Three species of shellfish were collected from local fishermen.
The study noted that estuary is a valuable source of oyster, finfish and shellfish species.
“The average abundance of microplastics in sail estuary is significant which is comparable to microplastic abundance in the waters of the Netherlands and China and sediments of China and Nova Scotia (Canada),” he said.
The study noted, “The significant presence of microplastics in the gastrointestinal tract of finfish may pose an additional threat to these fish.”
In addition, the “intensive abundance” of various microplastics in bivalves (shellfish) poses a risk to humans because bivalves are consumed as a whole, it has been noted.
“A similar signature of polymers in water and sediment, and in seafood, suggests that human activities in a densely populated area around the estuary may be a major source of microplastic contamination,” the paper said.
Fishing activities can contribute to micro pollution in the estuary, it said.
“The overall study extends the view that ubiquitous contamination by plastic particles is having a serious impact on coastal marine organisms,” the researchers called, calling for “strong management strategies” to prevent this.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NB staff and published from a syndicated feed.)