Plastic ingestion by estuarine mullet Mugil cephalus (Mugilidae) in an urban harbour, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

Coastal urban environments have high plastic pollution levels, and hence interactions between plastic debris and marine life are frequent. We report on plastic ingestion by mullet Mugil cephalus in Durban Harbour, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Of 70 mullet (13.0–19.5 cm total length), 73% had plastic particles in their guts, with a mean of 3.8 particles per fish (SD 4.7). Plastic ingestion showed no relation to digestive tract content or fish length. White and clear plastic fibres were ingested most commonly. This urban population of M. cephalus had a higher incidence of plastic ingestion than has been reported in studies on fish from other coastal areas or the oceanic environment.

T Naidoo, AJ Smit, D Glassom, African Journal of Marine Science, Volume 38, Issue 1, p. 145-149, 2016

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