Microplastics in fisheries and aquaculture: implications to food sustainability and safety

Autor(es): Ian Vázquez Rowe, Diana Ita Nagy, Ramzy Kahhat Abedrabbo

Plastic waste has arisen as a worldwide environmental concern, becoming ubiquitous in all marine compartments. Microplastics (MPs) are an important fraction of this accumulation, due to direct emissions from the technosphere or fragmentation of macroplastic waste. Consequently, the aim of this letter is to analyze the effects of microplastics on fishing and aquaculture, identifying the links with food safety and sustainability. Current studies have observed multiple potentially damaging effects of microplastics on marine biota, mainly at lower trophic levels. It is plausible to assume that fishing stocks and aquaculture systems will suffer setbacks due to these damages. However, additional research is needed to understand the potential effects on human health, especially considering that smaller microplastics and nanoplastics, for which data is very scarce, are the particles most likely to be absorbed by human tissues.

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