Evaluation of microplastic ingestion by tropical fish from Moorea Island, French Polynesia
Microplastics are ubiquitous throughout the oceans, yet few studies have documented their occurrence in marine organisms associated with coral reefs. Four genera of adult fish were sampled (Myripristis spp., Siganusspp., Epinephelus merra and Cheilopogon simus) from different trophic guilds around the tropical island of Moorea, French Polynesia. Digestive tracts from 133 adult fish were surveyed and microplastics were found in 28 tracts (21%). Abundance of ingested microplastic pieces per individual fish varied from 1 to 3 pieces, with an average of 1.25 ± 0.13 ingested microplastic pieces. Microplastics size ranged from 0.031 to 2.44 mm and 70% of microplastics did not exceed 0.3 mm in size. Overall, this study shows that the number and size of microplastic ingested per trophic groups are independent of trophic guild. Additional studies are needed to sample in other tropical regions in order to have a better assessment of microplastic occurrence in coral reefs.