Most fish for human consumption contain microplastics, according to new study.

Scientists from New Zealand and Australia detected microplastics in 75% of commercial fish species. Both bottom-dwellers and pelagic fish were equally affected, suggesting the plastics are suspended throughout the water column.

The researchers discovered an average of 2.5 individual plastic particles per fish. Microplastic fibres were the most commonly ingested with blue, black and red being the most common colours.

Polyethylene and polypropylene were found to be the most common plastic polymers ingested.

The study, published in Marine Pollution Bulletin, examined 155 fish from 10 species, including Red Cod, caught off the Otago coast.

It is as yet uncertain as to the health risks for people eating plastic-contaminated fish.

Further Reading

Isabella K. Clere et al, Quantification and characterization of microplastics in commercial fish from southern New Zealand, Marine Pollution Bulletin, Volume 184, 2022, 114121,

Photo credit: Chaiyapruek/depositphotos


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