DOI: 10.14466/CefasDataHub.100

CLiP South Africa Microplastics in biota 2019


This dataset contains 3 csv files. One file (SouthAfricaBiotaMicroplastics.csv) reports the microplastic abundance in biota samples (anchovies, redeye round herring and sardines) collected and analysed in South Africa in 2019. The file contains data of the samples weight, length and number of microplastic items found. Fish is ordered by 'stratum' (geographical reference, please see SouthAfricaBiotaMicroplasticsStrata.doc). Fish of the same species in the same stratum were also stored in bags and a blank was measured in the lab to assess contamination while working with specimens from the same bag. Blank values are also reported. in the file. The file also reports information for each sample. Since fish populations were homogeneous in size and shape, body weight and length were recorded for only 5 individuals per bag, and averaged values are reported for all fish from that bag. Stomach weight was measured individually for all specimens. For sardines in strata E and F the lengths and weights of each fish were measured, allowing for further analysis on the health effects of microplastics in sardines. The file SouthAfricaBiotaMicroplasticsFishMeasurements.csv reports body weights and length of the specimen actually measured in each bag. A third file (SouthAfricaBiotaMicroplasticsFTIR.csv) contains the profiles of the ATR-FT-IR spectrum analysis of plastic pieces found in the fish stomachs., plus two profiles of known plastic for quality check A README text file contains the legend of the columns of the three csv files.The pictures of the plastic particles analysed with ATR-FT-IR can be obtained inquiring the data steward. 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 of anchovies (Engraulis encrasicolus, 178 specimens), redeye round herring (Etrumeus whiteheadi, 188 specimens) and sardines (Sardinops sagax, 227 specimens) were collected during the 36th Pelagic recruit survey in 2019 carried out on board of the R.S. Africana by the South African Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF). Samples were fished in an inshore area along the SA coastline limited by the Orange River mouth (West Coast) and George (South Coast) and divided in seven areas (strata). In the lab, stomachs were removed, rinsed and chemically digested by a 30 percent KOH:NaClO solution with an incubation period of 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.


Cefas Marine Litter Team / Bakir, Adil / Preston-Whyte, Fiona / Doran, Denise / Harmer, Rogan / Tooley, Freya / Binetti, Umberto / Russell, Josie / Meakins, Bryony / Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) / Van der Lingen, Carl / Shabangu, Fannie / Geja, Yonela / Phillips, Mzwamadoda / Merkle, Dagmar / Gedi, Ntombifikile / Coetzee, Janet C. / Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) / Mdazuka, Yandiswa / Mooi, Gcobani / Worship, Marco / Pillay, Keshnee


Litter Abundance and Type, Marine Litter

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Cefas Marine Litter Team et al (2020). CLiP South Africa Microplastics in biota 2019. Cefas, UK. V1. doi: