The influences of spatial-temporal variability and ecological drivers on microplastic in marine fish in Hong Kong

Research output: Journal Publications and ReviewsRGC 21 - Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

3 Scopus Citations
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Original languageEnglish
Article number121527
Journal / PublicationEnvironmental Pollution
Online published28 Mar 2023
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jun 2023


This study examined microplastic (MP) occurrence and abundance in marine fish collected from the western and eastern waters of Hong Kong during the wet and dry seasons. Over half (57.1%) of the fish had MP in their gastrointestinal (GI) tracts, with overall MP abundance ranging from not detected to 44.0 items per individual. Statistical analysis revealed significant spatial and temporal differences in MP occurrence, with fish from more polluted areas having a higher likelihood of MP ingestion. Additionally, fish collected in the west during the wet season had significantly higher MP abundance, likely due to influence from the Pearl River Estuary. Omnivorous fish had significantly higher MP counts than carnivorous fish, regardless of collection location or time. Body length and weight were not significant predictors of MP occurrence or abundance. Our study identified several ecological drivers that affect MP ingestion by fish, including spatial-temporal variation, feeding mode, and feeding range. These findings provide a foundation for future research to investigate the relative importance of these factors in governing MP ingestion by fish in different ecosystems and species. © 2023 Elsevier Ltd

Research Area(s)

  • Feeding mode, Fish, Marine litter, Microplastic, Trophic transfer