Volume 73

Microplastic studies in the Bay Islands, Honduras

Zuniga Lopez, Z. L.
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Date: November, 2020

Pages: 86

Event: Proceedings of the Seventy-Three Annual Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute

City: Virtual

Country: Virtual


Approximately eight million metric tons of plastic enter the oceans every year. Microplastic in marine species have multiple effects like weight loss, reduced feeding activity, hepatic toxicity, change in behavior, endocrine alteration and even death. Plastics are associated with chemical additives which bioaccumulate and thus transfer to the rest of the food chain. To date, there has been no studies on microplastics conducted in the Bay Islands National Marine Park (BINMP), Honduras. This study aims to determine the amount of microplastic pollution by processing the digestive tracts of varying species with potassium hydroxide (KOH). Furthermore, we will identify the organisms that these species are feeding on. Targeted species to be processed include: lionfish (Pterois sp.), commercial fishes and beached animal samples (Hammerhead shark (Sphyrna lewini), Beacked whale (Mesoplodon europaeus), hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) and Red footed booby (Sula sula)). Results from this study will establish a baseline on microplastics in BINMP. Data will be presented to managers of the marine protected area to increase mitigation actions against marine litter.

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