Monthly microplastics change in European anchovy's (Engraulis encrasicolus) gastrointestinal tract in the Black Sea


Marine Pollution Bulletin, vol.194, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 194
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2023.115303
  • Journal Name: Marine Pollution Bulletin
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, PASCAL, Aerospace Database, Aquatic Science & Fisheries Abstracts (ASFA), Artic & Antarctic Regions, BIOSIS, CAB Abstracts, Chemical Abstracts Core, Chimica, Communication Abstracts, Compendex, Environment Index, Geobase, Metadex, Pollution Abstracts, Veterinary Science Database, Civil Engineering Abstracts
  • Keywords: Black Sea, Characterization, European anchovy, Fishing season, Microplastics
  • Recep Tayyip Erdoğan University Affiliated: Yes


To contribute to a better understanding of the regional dynamics of MP pollution and its potential effects on the anchovy population and human health, here we assessed the presence and characterization of microplastics (MPs) in European anchovy (Engraulis encrasicolus), which is the most caught/consumed species in the Black Sea and is of vital importance to the ecosystem. A total of 360 individuals (30 per month) were sampled from the eastern Black Sea continental shelf all year round (monthly from September 20 to Aug 21). We extracted and digested the gastrointestinal tracts (GITs) of the samples with H2O2 and characterized the MPs in the GITs by stereomicroscope and ATR-FTIR. MPs varied between 0 and 0.43 MP individual−1. The morphological structure of MPs was composed of 51 % fiber > fragment (32.7 %) > film (12.2 %) > foam (4.1 %) and polymer types as PP (42.9 %) and PE (22.4 %). In the prevalence of MP colors, black (26.5 %) > white (24.5 %) > red (22.5 %) was observed. The mean MP size was 735.32 ± 836.62 μm, with no significant correlation between the abundance and size of ingested MPs and anchovy height/weight and GIT weight. We determined that MP abundance showed substantial differences between the fishing season (0.18 ± 0.05 MP ind−1) and the banned season (0.05 ± 0.03 MP ind−1). It is essential to develop effective waste management strategies to protect the vulnerable marine ecosystems of the Black Sea and ensure sustainable exploitation of living resources in this region. These strategies should be accompanied by robust monitoring and enforcement measures to guarantee their effectiveness and compliance.