44 percent of fish in Turkish waters contain microplastics: Report

44 percent of fish in Turkish waters contain microplastics: Report

44 percent of fish in Turkish waters contain microplastics: Report

Some 44 percent of fish in Turkish waters have microplastics in their stomachs, according to a recent report prepared by Greenpeace Mediterranean.

Experts have looked into 243 fish, 32 shrimps and 317 stuffed mussels within the context of the report named “Microplastic Pollution in Water Creatures in Turkey.” They have then determined microplastics in 44 percent of the fish they examined, 18 percent of shrimps and 91 percent of the stuffed mussels they analyzed.

In the study, gastrointestinal tract of gray mullet, red mullet, striped red mullet, Mediterranean horse mackerel, striped seabream and red shrimp collected from the Marmara, Aegean and Mediterranean regions were investigated.

In addition to these species, experts have also examined stuffed mussels, produced from mussels collected from the Aegean and Marmara seas or supplied from farms in these regions and sold in Adana, Ankara, Bodrum, Istanbul and İzmir.

“Considering all the species examined, 64.8 percent of the gray mullet species, 63 percent of red mullets, 34.3 percent of the striped seabream, 32.8 percent of the striped red mullets and 26.7 percent of the Mediterranean horse mackerel contain microplastic in their gastrointestinal tracts,” said the report.

“This means that in general, 44.3 percent of all fish contain microplastics. In other words, approximately one of every two fish was found to contain microplastic,” it said.

“It is evident that the plastics identified in this study, mostly disposable, are directly related to excessive plastic consumption, inadequate waste management and excessive plastic production. Therefore, the reduction of excessive production of plastics, the prohibition of some disposable plastics prohibited in the EU, the management should improve waste policies and reduce the plastic consumption of individuals. In addition, more detailed microplastic investigations are required to understand the existing risk in all its dimensions,” the report said.

Established in 1995 as a separate foundation under the banner of Greenpeace, Greenpeace Mediterranean in a non-government organization active in Turkey, Israel, Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt, with the aim to change attitudes and behaviors in order to protect the natural environment and promote peace.