Presence of microplastics in stingrays (Hypanus guttatus) from Brazilian Amazon Coast

, Pegado Tamyris, Brabo Lúcio, Sarti Francesco, Gava Thaís, Nunes Jorge, Chelazzi David, Cincinelli Alessandra, Monteiro Raqueline, Martinelli Filho José Eduardo, Giarrizzo Tommaso.

Is known that microplastics (MPs) are widely distributed in the aquatic environment, reaching even the remotest areas of the oceans. Given their small size and abundance, MPs are easily ingested by a wide range of organisms during their normal feeding activities. These particles can be considered as a potential exposure route to persistent organic pollutants (POP's) and metals. In view of this scenario, we aimed to documents the ingestion of microplastics by Longnose stingrays in the Western Atlantic Ocean. We examined 23 specimens of Hypanus guttatus from the Brazilian Amazon coast and found microplastic particles in the stomach contents of almost a third of the individuals. Fibers were the most frequent item (82%), blue was the most frequent color (47%) and Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) was the most frequent polymer recorded (35%), as identified by 2D imaging - Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR). The ingestion of microplastics has not been recorded previously in H. guttatus. The findings of the present study thus provide an important baseline for future studies of microplastic ingestion by dasyatid rays and other batoid species in the Atlantic Ocean, and contribute to the broader understanding of the spatial and temporal dimensions of the growing problem of plastic pollution in aquatic ecosystems and organisms.

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