Microplastics In Fish Gastrointestinal Tracts sampled in 2020 in the North Sea (MICROFISH project)



In this work, a pilot study was performed to assess the feasibility of biomonitoring microplastics (MPs) in fish gastro-intestinal tract (GIT), to assess MP spatial contamination in the marine environment. The MPs identification protocol was based on Nile red staining and fluorescent microscopy observations. The confirmation of MPs identification and the analysis of the polymer composition of particles was done using micro-Fourier transform infrared (µFTIR) spectroscopy.,Fish gastro-intestinal tract (GIT) and fillet samples were dissected onboard scientific fisheries survey vessels, before lab digestion, density separation and analysis. Samples were processed individually or GIT contents from 3 fish were pooled prior to a two-step digestion. The size of each particle was measured along its maximum Feret diameter using the scale bar function of the Leica Application Suite (LAS) microscope software, while fibre length was measured as the shortest distance between the two fibre tips. Microplastics were classified by colour and shape according to MSFD Technical Subgroup on Marine Litter (2013). A micro-Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (µFTIR) analysis was performed using a Spotlight 200i FT-IR microscope (Perkin Elmer) to distinguish between synthetic (i.e., plastic) and natural (i.e., non-plastic) particles, and to further identify the polymers of selected 52 particles (size > 50 µm), 36 potential plastic and 16 non-plastic particles. To identify the spectra, a search was performed in a spectra commercial library (Perkin Elmer), excluding the range 1,250 - 1,100 cm-1, and polymers identification was accepted when a match was over 60% (with one exception for a Fluorocarbon particle, where the match was 55%).
Datum ter beschikking1-jan.-2021
UitgeverVlaams Instituut voor de Zee

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