Publication date: April 2019
Source: Marine Pollution Bulletin, Volume 141
Author(s): Rafael Menezes, Manuel Alves da Cunha-Neto, Grazielly Campos de Mesquita, Guelson Batista da SilvaAbstract
We report the occurrence of macroplastic debris in the stomach of a common dolphinfish (Coryphaena hippurus) caught in the Western Equatorial Atlantic. On the deck, we noticed that the fish was remarkably undernourished and decided to remove its stomach for laboratory analysis. A large part of a plastic bowl and a tuna pectoral fin were the only items recorded in the fish stomach. The plastic measured 99.57 cm2 and weighed 12.77 g, likely blocking the digestive tract and reducing food intake by the fish, as supported by signs of starvation. This is the record of the largest plastic debris ingested by a dolphinfish to date. As the source of the plastic container was probably a tuna fishing boat, we suggest strengthening environmental education programs to enhance the awareness of fishermen and mitigate the impacts of plastic pollution on the pelagic ecosystem and associated organisms, such as C. hippurus.