Business Standard

Study in Goa flags alarming levels of microplastics in seafood

The levels of microplastics found in fish and other seafood samples from the Sal Estuary in Goa is worrisome, a study said

Goa | Plastics | water pollution

Press Trust of India  |  Panaji 

EU mulls ban on seafood from India
Representational image

The levels of microplastics found in fish and other seafood samples from the Sal Estuary in is worrisome, a study by researchers of the National Institute of Oceanography (NIO) here has said.

The study, led by senior scientist Dr Mahua Saha, indicated presence of microplastics in water, sediment and biota (local animal and plant life) from the estuary.

A paper based on the study, result of two-year-long research by scientists from CSIR-NIO, was published in the prominent scientific journal "Chemosphere".

During the study titled "Microplastics in seafood as an emerging threat to marine environment: A case study in Goa" the researchers collectedsamples of four species of finfish from two sites. Three species of shellfish were collected from local fishermen.

The estuary is a valuable source of oyster, finfish and shellfish species, the study said.

"The average abundance of microplastics in the Sal Estuary is significant which is comparable to the microplastic abundance in water from the Netherlands and China and in sediments from China and Nova Scotia (Canada)," it said.

"The significant presence of microplastics in the gastrointestinal tract of finfish may pose an additional threat to these fishes due to the leaching of chemicals," the study said.

Further, "profound abundance" of various microplastics in bivalves (shellfish) poses risk to humans because bivalves are mostly consumed as a whole, it noted.

"A similar signature of polymers in water and sediment, and in seafood suggests that human activities in the densely populated area around the estuary might be the leading source of microplastic contamination," the paper said.

Fishing activities may also contribute to the microplastic pollution in the estuary, it said.

"The study overall adds to the increasing evidence that ubiquitous contamination by plastic particles is seriously impacting the coastal marine biota," the researchers said, calling for "robust management strategies" to stop it.

Dear Reader,

Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

First Published: Thu, January 14 2021. 18:02 IST