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Microplastic occurrence in fish species from the Iquitos region in Peru, western Amazonia

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posted on 2023-01-24, 07:17 authored by Rommel R. ROJAS, Carlos ARANGO-MORA, Christian NOLORBE-PAYAHUA, Mishelly MEDINA, Melly VASQUEZ, Josias FLORES, Fiorela MURAYARI, Claudia VÁSQUEZ, Valeri de ALMEIDA, Wilfredo RAMOS, Enrique RIOS ISERN, Jorge MARAPARA DEL AGUILA, Juan C. CASTRO, Javier DEL ÁGUILA, Felicia DIAZ JARAMA, Maria VASCONCELOS-SOUZA

ABSTRACT The contamination of aquatic environments by microplastic has become a major threat to biodiversity. The presence of microplastic is documented in the aquatic fauna of the oceans, but, in the Amazon basin, reports on microplastic occurrence are few. The present study surveyed microplastic occurrence in fishes in an area of the Peruvian Amazon. We sampled 61 specimens of 15 commercial species from local markets in the city of Iquitos, Loreto Department. We detected a total of 2337 microplastic particles, 1096 in the gills and 1241 in the internal organs (esophagus, stomach, intestine, liver, gonads, pancreas, swim bladder and heart). The prevalence of microplastic particles was 100% and the overall average abundance was of 38.3 particles per individual (17.9 particles per individual in gills and 20.3 particles per individual in internal organs). Most particles were found in carnivorous fish. There was no correlation of particle abundance with fish standard length and weight. These results provided evidence of the degree of microplastic contamination of the fish fauna in the region of Iquitos.