Detection of anthropogenic fibres in marine organisms: Knowledge gaps and methodological issues

Marine Pollution Bulletin

Volume: 191 Pages: 114949  ISSN: 0025-326X Doi:

Authors: Margherita Concato, Cristina Panti, Matteo Baini, Matteo Galli, Dario Giani, Maria Cristina Fossi

Abstract: Most studies examining the occurrence of plastics and microplastics in marine organisms have identified anthropogenic fibres, of natural and synthetic origin, as the most commonly occurring category. Anthropogenic fibres may have been chemically treated with additives making them more persistent and a potential threat to marine organisms. However, fibres have often been excluded from analytical data for the difficulties related to the sampling and analytical procedures, including potential overestimation of the results due to airborne contamination. This review aimed to collect and analyse all studies focusing on the interaction between anthropogenic fibres and marine organisms worldwide, highlighting critical issues that need to be overcome for the analysis fibres on marine organisms. Furthermore, emphasis was placed on the species studied in the Mediterranean Sea, which is particularly affected by this type of pollution. Overall, this review shows that fibre pollution is an underestimated threat to marine organisms and that a specific, harmonised protocol for the analysis of different anthropogenic fibres needs to be developed.