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Sea food and microplastics

  • by JW



Last month’s newsletter from the DMF included a report from the Plymouth Marine Laboratory:

Are we underestimating microplastics in the marine environment

Devon Maritime Forum – June/July newsletter – Vision Group for Sidmouth

It’s something we can’t escape:

Microplastics everywhere – Vision Group for Sidmouth

And it’s something we considered two years ago, with PhD students from Plymouth:

Plymouth University PhD Talk 8th May 2018 – Sidmouth Plastic Warriors

Sidmouth Plastics week launched – Vision Group for Sidmouth


A correspondent has just sent in this report on how microplastics are entering the sea food chain:


Biofilms occur on even small pieces of plastic and filter feeders are most at risk of infection, mussels could be wiped out in some areas:

Analysis of Selected Plastics in High-Commercial-Value Australian Seafood

The Universities of Exeter and Queensland are working on joint projects:

Queensland partnership | Working in partnership with the University of Queensland | University of Exeter

Exeter’s research has produced alarming results:

Biological impact of microplastics on marine animals | Biosciences | University of Exeter

Exeter and Plymouth have produced material for GCSE students:

Unit | Plankton, Plastics and Poo Science 14-16 | Encounter Edu

Both the specialist and mainstream media have been reporting these findings:

There’s plastic in your prawns, UQ research reveals

Research reveals microplastic content levels in seafood


Microplastics are discovered in every sample of seafood purchased at a food market – with the equivalent of a grain of rice found in sardine flesh

  • Scientists from universities of Queensland and Exeter bought seafood at market 
  • They dissolved microplastics in the edible tissue of each sample and studied it 
  • Discovered the microplastic polyvinyl chloride in every single specimen
  • Most abundant was polyethylene which is the world’s most popular plastic  
  • Sardines were the worst affected delicacy, with up to 30mg of plastic per serving, approximately the same weight as a grain of rice  

Microplastics found in every seafood sample bought at market | Daily Mail Online


Plastic pollution in our oceans could spread fatal diseases into the food chain through farmed seafoods such as mussels and oysters, study warns

  • Scientists say microscopic plastic particles transport pathogens in the oceans
  • Pathogens can contaminate our favourite seafood including oysters and mussels
  • Knowledge gaps still exist over how microplastics carry these pathogens to fish

‘Microplastic fragments differ markedly from natural floating particles, and there is growing evidence that they represent a potential reservoir of pathogens,’ said Dr Ceri Lewis at the University of Exeter’s Global Systems Institute

Plastic pollution in our oceans could spread fatal diseases into the food chain through seafood | Daily Mail Online


photo: plastic-bioaccumulation-in-the-food-web_3ba9 (1) – Fleet Farming