First evidence of microplastic ingestion by fishes from the Amazon River estuary. Academic Article uri icon


  • This study investigated occurrence of microplastic particles in digestive tracts of fishes from the Amazon River estuary. A total of 189 fish specimens representing 46 species from 22 families was sampled from bycatch of the shrimp fishery. Microplastic particles removed from fish gastrointestinal tracts were identified using Attenuated Total Reflectance - Fourier Transform Infrared (ATR-FTIR). In total, 228 microplastic particles were removed from gastrointestinal tracts of 26 specimens representing 14 species (30% of those examined). Microplastic particles were categorized as pellets (97.4%), sheets (1.3%), fragments (0.4%) and threads (0.9%), with size ranging from 0.38 to 4.16mm. There was a positive correlation between fish standard length and number of particles found in gastrointestinal tracts. The main polymers identified by ATR-FTIR were polyamide, rayon and polyethylene. These findings provide the first evidence of microplastic contamination of biota from the Amazon estuary and northern coast of Brazil.

published proceedings

  • Mar Pollut Bull

altmetric score

  • 8.3

author list (cited authors)

  • Pegado, T., Schmid, K., Winemiller, K. O., Chelazzi, D., Cincinelli, A., Dei, L., & Giarrizzo, T.

citation count

  • 129

complete list of authors

  • Pegado, Tamyris de Souza E Silva||Schmid, Kurt||Winemiller, Kirk O||Chelazzi, David||Cincinelli, Alessandra||Dei, Luigi||Giarrizzo, Tommaso

publication date

  • August 2018