This study highlights for the first time the presence of plastic debris in the stomachs of Mediterranean lanternfishes (Myctophidae): Electrona risso, Diaphus metopoclampus, Hygophum benoiti and Myctophum punctatum. Samples were collected in the central Mediterranean Sea between 2010 and 2014. Plastics ingested belonged to small microplastics (0.2 – 2 mm), large microplastics (2 – 5 mm) and mesoplastics (5 – 25 mm), having mainly clear colors. Their frequency of occurrence in stomachs was equal to 2.7%, but it increases to 5.8% if only migratory species are considered. The higher number of plastics was found in E. risso and H. benoiti (5 in both species). The plastic ingestion may represent a risk for vertical migrant lanternfishes due to the increase in buoyancy. Ecotoxicological aspects linked to the potential effects of contaminants on lanternfish biology and to the transfer of pollutants throughout the marine trophic web up to top predators should be deepened.
Teresa ROMEO, Cristina PEDÀ, Maria Cristina FOSSI, Franco ANDALORO, Pietro BATTAGLIA, Acta Adriatica : international journal of Marine Sciences, Vol.57 No.1 June 2016