DOI: 10.14466/CefasDataHub.98

CLiP Belize Microplastics in biota 2019


This dataset contains 2 csv files. One file contains data on microplastic abundance expressed in number of particles from biota samples (queen conch, Lobatus gigas) collected in Belize in 2018 (and analysed in 2019) with indication of sample wet weight and blank used. The other file contains the profiles of the ATR-FT-IR spectrum analysis of plastic pieces found in the conch stomachs. A README text file contains the legend of the columns of the two csv files. A .zip file contains pictures of two plastic pieces analysed with ATR-FT-IR. The Commonwealth Litter Project (CLiP) supported Belize to take action on plastics entering the oceans. The assessment of microplastics in biota was part of the action plan to define scientific baselines for future monitoring purposes and comparison. Samples were acquired targeting the queen conch Lobatus gigas from Fishing Areas 1 and 2 (fished in Dec 2018), as defined by the Fisheries Department. Specimens were sourced as part of the Commonwealth Marine Economies (CME) programme. In the lab, stomachs were removed, rinsed and chemically digested by a 30 percent KOH:NaClO solution with an incubation period of 3 days 24 hours at 40 degrees centigrade. All samples were then filtered, stained with Red Nile dye and a digital image was acquired through a microscope. Number of particles was counted and corrected for particles count in blank samples. Visible particles were analysed using ATR-FT-IR to identify polymer composition, comparing their spectrum to a polymers library. ATR-FT-IR is the attenuated total reflection Fourier Transform infrared spectroscopy. A Thermo Fisher Scientific Nicolet iS5 ATR-FTIR with an OMNIC software (version 9.9.473) was used and polymers were identified based on the percentage match of IR spectra to a polymer library. Only spectra matched greater than 70 percent were accepted. Spectra were collected in the range 4000 – 650 1/cm at a resolution of 4 1/cm.


Bakir, Adil / Birchenough, Silvana / Tooley, Freya / Sanchez, Henry / Carrias, Abel


Marine Litter / Litter Abundance and Type

Start Date


End Date


Year Published





Cefas Marine Litter Team et al (2020). CLiP Belize Microplastics in biota 2019. Cefas, UK. V2. doi: