One of the most recognized anthropogenic impacts in marine environments is solid waste pollution, especially plastic, which can be ingested by fish, thus interfering with their health. In this context, the aim of this study is to describe the ingestion of plastic fragments and to identify the possible effect of this contamination in the condition factor of Genidens genidens in the Laguna Estuarine System. The stomach contents of 92 G. genidens (26 juveniles and 66 adults) were analyzed. The Index of Relative Importance was performed to identify the contribution of each prey item. Condition factor (CF) was used to analyze the effect of plastic ingestion on the fish’s body condition (by comparing individuals in the same ontogenetic phase). For the juveniles, eight items were observed, the most important of which were Penaeidae, followed by Portunidae and plastic. For the adults, 12 items were observed, the most important of which were Penaeidae, Portunidae, Polychaeta, and plastic. The analysis of CF demonstrated higher values for individuals without plastic in the stomach, which indicated a better health condition. The CF of a fish may be affected by variations in the physiological condition, environmental stresses, and nutritional and biological variations, and could be used to compare the body condition or health of a fish species. The ingestion of plastic could significantly influence the worst body condition of the individuals that were analyzed in the present study. The plastic pollution in marine coastal waters is associated with the appropriate waste management levels.
Environmental Science and Pollution Research, pp 1–8, 2019