Students from the School of Biology of the University of Costa Rica (UCR) identified 1,101 pieces of plastic in 30 fish analyzed in the Costa Rican Pacific.
The plastic was found in the fish’s digestive tract. The students analyzed the species Opisthonema libertate, known as gallera sardine. These fish were chosen for the study because they have a more uniform digestive tract than other species.
This sardine is used for human consumption and also for bait. The sample was collected near the port of Caldera, Puntarenas. It is composed of 25 males and five females.
The microplastic particles found are less than five millimeters long. On average, 29 fibers and eight particles were identified inside each individual.
Marco Rodríguez Arias, one of the students who participated in the study, explained that there is zooplankton that may be consuming microplastics and serves as food for filter fish.
Luis Bermúdez, another of the students, said that
the reality is very sad. There are studies that show that 90% of seabirds have been in contact with plastic. They have opened the digestive tract of some birds and have found lids and even lighters.”