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Preliminary observations of plastic debris in the gastrointestinal tract of sea urchin Tetrapygus niger
De-la-Torre, Gabriel Enrique, Dioses-Salinas, Diana Carolina, Huamantupa-Aybar, Sandra y Davila-Carrasco, Joseph.
Brazilian Journal of Natural Sciences, vol. 3, núm. 2, 2020, pp. 316-320.
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Plastic pollution is regarded as one of the major issues from the Anthropocene epoch. Microplastics (<5 mm) are the result of the excessive plastic production and littering, thus becoming widespread in the environment. In this study, the presence and characteristics of microplastics extracted from the gastrointestinal tract of sea urchin Tetrapygus niger was reported. An average abundance of 3.22 ± 0.49 microplastics per individual was found, ranging from 1 to 5. Fibers were the dominant type (75.9%), followed by fragments (24.1%). Regarding color, most of the particles found were blue > red > black > green. These results are in lower magnitude levels than those reported in others species from the same region. However, microplastics could transfer from sea urchins to predators in higher trophic levels, like marine mammals. Prospects for further research was discussed.
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