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Microplastic in angling baits as a cryptic source of contamination in European freshwaters.

de Carvalho, A.R., Imbert, A., Parker, B., Euphrasie, A., Boulêtreau, S., Britton, J. R. and Cucherousset, J., 2021. Microplastic in angling baits as a cryptic source of contamination in European freshwaters. Scientific Reports, 11, 11255.

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DOI: 10.1038/s41598-021-90468-0

Abstract

High environmental microplastic pollution, and its largely unquantified impacts on organisms, are driving studies to assess their potential entry pathways into freshwaters. Recreational angling, where many anglers release manufactured baits into freshwater ecosystems, is a widespread activity with important socio-economic implications in Europe. It also represents a potential microplastic pathway into freshwaters that has yet to be quantified. Correspondingly, we analysed three different categories of industrially-produced baits ('groundbait', 'boilies' and 'pellets') for their microplastic contamination (particles 700 µm to 5 mm). From 160 samples, 28 microplastics were identified in groundbait and boilies, with a mean concentration of 17.4 (± 48.1 SD) MP kg-1 and 6.78 (± 29.8 SD) mg kg-1, yet no microplastics within this size range were recorded in the pellets. Microplastic concentrations significantly differed between bait categories and companies, but microplastic characteristics did not vary. There was no correlation between microplastic contamination and the number of bait ingredients, but it was positively correlated with C:N ratio, indicating a higher contamination in baits with higher proportion of plant-based ingredients. We thus reveal that bait microplastics introduced accidentally during manufacturing and/or those originating from contaminated raw ingredients might be transferred into freshwaters. However, further studies are needed to quantify the relative importance of this cryptic source of contamination and how it influences microplastic levels in wild fish.

Item Type:Article
ISSN:2045-2322
Group:Faculty of Science & Technology
ID Code:35634
Deposited By: Unnamed user with email symplectic@symplectic
Deposited On:14 Jun 2021 11:19
Last Modified:15 Aug 2021 08:29

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