Microplastics in fishes of commercial and ecological importance from the Western Arabian Gulf

Fadiyah M. Baalkhuyur, Mohammad A. Qurban, Premlal Panickan, Carlos M. Duarte

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


Microplastic particles (MPs) in the gastrointestinal tracts of nine fish species of commercial importance from different habitats (coastal, pelagic, and reef-associated) in the Saudi EEZ of the Arabian Gulf were quantified and classified. A total of eight MPs were retrieved from a total of 140 individual fish examined, with an average of 0.057 ± 0.019 microplastic items per fish (excluding possible plastic fibers). On average, 5.71%, of the fish dissected contained MPs, ranging from 5 to 15% of individual fish examined containing MPs among species (Siganus canaliculatus and Rastrelliger kanagurta, respectively). Ingested plastic consisted primarily of fishing threads (1.04 ± 0.06 mm), followed by fragments (1.16 ± 0.11 mm). It is likely that the fibers, originated from the fisheries, recreational boating, laundry, domestic wastewater, and other human activities, which is also widespread and abundant (found in 58.58% of the fish studied). Polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) were identified as the most abundant polymers ingested by the fishes. There was no significant difference (p < 0.05) between the presence of microplastic in fish depending on their habitat. The prevalence of MPs is relatively low compared to those in other regions, despite the massive industrialization of the Saudi Arabian Gulf.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)110920
JournalMarine Pollution Bulletin
StatePublished - Jan 19 2020


Dive into the research topics of 'Microplastics in fishes of commercial and ecological importance from the Western Arabian Gulf'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this