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Microplastics In Fish Gastrointestinal Tracts sampled in 2020 in the North Sea (MICROFISH project)
Citable as data publication
De Witte, B.; Catarino, A.I.; Vandecasteele, L.; Dekimpe, M.; Meyers, N.; Deloof, D.; Pint, S.; Hostens, K.; Everaert, G.; Torreele, E.; Flanders Research Institute for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (ILVO); Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ): Belgium; (2021): Microplastics In Fish Gastrointestinal Tracts sampled in 2020 in the North Sea (MICROFISH project). Marine Data Archive.

In this work, a pilot study was performed to assess the feasibility of biomonitoring microplastics (MPs) in fish gastro-intestinal tract (GIT), to assess MP spatial contamination in the marine environment. The MPs identification protocol was based on Nile red staining and fluorescent microscopy observations. The confirmation of MPs identification and the analysis of the polymer composition of particles was done using micro-Fourier transform infrared (µFTIR) spectroscopy. more

Fish gastro-intestinal tract (GIT) and fillet samples were dissected onboard scientific fisheries survey vessels, before lab digestion, density separation and analysis. Samples were processed individually or GIT contents from 3 fish were pooled prior to a two-step digestion. The size of each particle was measured along its maximum Feret diameter using the scale bar function of the Leica Application Suite (LAS) microscope software, while fibre length was measured as the shortest distance between the two fibre tips. Microplastics were classified by colour and shape according to MSFD Technical Subgroup on Marine Litter (2013). A micro-Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (µFTIR) analysis was performed using a Spotlight 200i FT-IR microscope (Perkin Elmer) to distinguish between synthetic (i.e., plastic) and natural (i.e., non-plastic) particles, and to further identify the polymers of selected 52 particles (size > 50 µm), 36 potential plastic and 16 non-plastic particles. To identify the spectra, a search was performed in a spectra commercial library (Perkin Elmer), excluding the range 1,250 - 1,100 cm-1, and polymers identification was accepted when a match was over 60% (with one exception for a Fluorocarbon particle, where the match was 55%).

Biology > Fish, Environmental quality/pollution
Marine/Coastal, Biomonitoring, Fish, Gastro-intestinal tract, Microplastics, North sea, Pilot study, Scientific fisheries surveys, ANE, North Sea

Geographical coverage
ANE, North Sea [Marine Regions]

Temporal coverage
24 August 2020 - 22 September 2020

Fish GIT sample weight, Fish length, MicroFTIR polymer library matching score, MPs / Fish GIT sample Methodology , Particle length Methodology , Particle shape Methodology , Wet weight of fish
MPs / Fish GIT sample: All particles identified using Nile red prior to microFTIR correction
Particle length: Measured as the feret diameter; fibre length was measured as the shortest distance between the two fibre tips
Particle shape: Particle shape as per the MSFD Technical Subgroup on Marine Litter (2013). Guidance on Monitoring of Marine Litter in European Seas. Luxembourg doi:10.2788/99475

Vlaamse overheid; Beleidsdomein Landbouw en Visserij; Instituut voor landbouw-, visserij en voedingsonderzoek (ILVO), moredata creatordata creator
Vlaams Instituut voor de Zee (VLIZ), moredata creatordata creator

Based on this dataset
De Witte, B. et al. (2022). Feasibility study on biomonitoring of microplastics in fish gastrointestinal tracts. Front. Mar. Sci. 8: 794636., more

Dataset status: Completed
Data type: Data
Data origin: Research: field survey
Metadatarecord created: 2021-09-30
Information last updated: 2021-09-30
All data in the Integrated Marine Information System (IMIS) is subject to the VLIZ privacy policy