EU Sampling Project Identifies Microplastic Contamination in Mediterranean Seafood

by Ella

A comprehensive EU project dedicated to monitoring contaminants in vital seafood species from the Mediterranean Sea has raised alarm over the presence of microplastics in the digestive systems of certain fishery products.

The EU Adriatic Network for Marine Ecosystem (ADRINET) project conducts sampling of fish and cephalopod species across three distinct sub-regions of the Mediterranean Sea, encompassing fishing grounds surrounding Italy, Albania, and Montenegro. The project’s scope includes an investigation into the presence of major environmental contaminants, including cadmium, microplastics, and antibiotics, within collected seafood samples.


While the overall contamination levels of cadmium and antibiotics in the analyzed seafood were found to be negligible, the presence of microplastics was pervasive, particularly in the stomachs and guts of two specific fish species sourced from the three sampled bays. Notably, the highest concentration of microplastics was recorded in the stomachs of Sparus aurata (gilt-head bream) from Castro Bay, Italy, with an average value of six microplastics per sample. This observation is attributed to Castro Bay’s status as the most anthropized bay among the three study areas.


Conversely, lower levels of microplastics were detected in Boka Kotorska, Montenegro, and Vlora Bay, Albania, with approximately two microplastics per gut of Sparus aurata and Dicentrarchus labrax (European seabass), respectively.


The researchers emphasize the imperative for further investigation into the prevalence of microplastics in seafood, underscoring the need for ongoing monitoring and research initiatives to address this growing environmental and public health concern.




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