Microplastic (MP) Pollution in Aquatic Ecosystems and Environmental Impact on Aquatic Animals

Saiprasad Bhusare

ICAR-Central Institute of Fisheries Education, Mumbai- 400 061, India.

Sagar Gorakh Satkar *

Faculty of Fisheries, Kerala University of Fisheries and Ocean Studies, Panangad, Kochi, Kerala- 682506, India.

Ashish Sahu

Faculty of Fisheries, Kerala University of Fisheries and Ocean Studies, Panangad, Kochi, Kerala- 682506, India.

Bhautik Savaliya

ICAR-Central Institute of Fisheries Education, Mumbai- 400 061, India.

Tejaswini Karale

ICAR-Central Institute of Fisheries Education, Mumbai- 400 061, India.

Renuka Gautam

Central University of Gujarat, Gandhinagar, India.

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


Abstract

Microplastics found in aquatic environments worldwide, often exceed the abundance of aquatic animals. The exponential growth in synthetic plastic production and inadequate waste management practices have resulted in a significant increase in plastic waste in our aquatic environments. Consequently, microplastics, defined as particles smaller than 5 millimetres, have become pervasive in both seawater and freshwater ecosystems, emerging as a concerning new type of contaminant. Sources of microplastics in aquatic systems are diverse, with wastewater treatment plants being a primary contributor. Microplastic abundance varies widely by location, ranging from over 1 million pieces per cubic meter to less than one piece in 100 cubic meters. Microplastics pose various harmful effects on humans and other organisms, primarily through entanglement and ingestion. Moreover, they serve as carriers of toxins such as industrial additives and persistent contaminants, which can lead to significant health issues for humans. Studies on fish have demonstrated the bioaccumulation of microplastics and associated toxins, resulting in intestinal damage and metabolic profile alterations. Additionally, microplastics serve as vectors of toxic substances to a range of aquatic and avian species, including invertebrates, fishes, herpetofauna, and waterfowl. Despite growing awareness and concerted efforts to address plastic pollution, the persistence and complexity of the microplastic paradox demand innovative solutions and interdisciplinary approaches. By navigating this ecological conundrum with scientific rigor, societal engagement, and collective action, we can forge a path towards a more sustainable future, where water bodies thrive free from the scourge of plastic pollution.

Keywords: Microplastics, plastic pollution, aquatic ecosystems, ecotoxicology, bioaccumulation


How to Cite

Bhusare , S., Satkar, S. G., Sahu , A., Savaliya, B., Karale , T., & Gautam , R. (2024). Microplastic (MP) Pollution in Aquatic Ecosystems and Environmental Impact on Aquatic Animals. UTTAR PRADESH JOURNAL OF ZOOLOGY, 45(5), 59–68. https://doi.org/10.56557/upjoz/2024/v45i53931

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