Microplastics and Alien Black Particles as Contaminants of Deep-Water Rose Shrimp (Parapenaeus longistroris Lucas, 1846) in the Central Mediterranean Sea Pages 23-28

Gioacchino Bono1, Fabio Falsone1, Francesca Falco1, Federico Di Maio1,2, Marta Gabriele1, Vita Gancitano1, Michele Luca Geraci1,2, Danilo Scannella1, Maria Mancuso1, Charles Odilichukwu R. Okpala3 and Pasti Luisa4

1Institute for Biological Resources and Marine Biotechnologies, National Research Council (IRBIM-CNR), Mazara del Vallo, Italy; 2Department of Biological, Geological and Environmental Sciences (BiGeA) – Marine Biology and Fisheries Laboratory of Fano (PU), University of Bologna (BO), Italy; 3Department of Functional Food Products Development, Faculty of Biotechnology and Food Science, Wroclaw University of Environmental and Life Sciences, Wroclaw, Poland; 4Department of Chemistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Ferrara, Via L. Borsari 46, 44121, Ferrara, Italy

DOI: https://doi.org/10.12970/2311-1755.2020.08.04

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Abstract: The detection of microplastics in the gastrointestinal tracts (GIT) of marine organisms has been recognized as among a major detrimental consequence of global plastic pollution. The effect of bioaccumulation may be potentially dangerous for food web transfer and consequently for human health. Several observational studies have been carried out in a wide range of marine organisms, including decapod crustaceans, such as the shore crab and Norway lobster; however, no specific study has been assessed on the deep-water rose shrimp (Parapenaeus longistroris Lucas, 1846), an ecologically and commercially important Mediterranean crustacean. Based on this, we performed a preliminary study on the presence of microplastics in the GIT of 24 deep-water rose shrimp (DWRS) specimens, collected in the Strait of Sicily, which is among the most important fishing ground of the Mediterranean Sea. After the screening, 21% of DWRS GIT contained microplastics size range of 100 to 300 μm. Specifically, 20% of them were spherical fragments, 40% were fibres and another 40% were tangled masses of filaments. In all specimens, alien black particles (BPs) (mean diameter about 50 µm) were detected. Because the microscopical examination appeared not explanatory, different hypotheses could be formulated. We assume that these particles could be of either volcanoclastic particles (olivine – basalt phenocrysts or aggregates) related to historical/recent submarine volcanic activity that prevails in this fishing ground and or black carbon soot that had likely originated from the biomass burning and anthropogenic combustion sources, another harmful effect of the intense commercial and fishing traffic, characterising the central Mediterranean Sea.

Keywords: Human health, crustacean, stomach content, Strait of Sicily, submarine volcanoes, shipping density.
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