International Journal of Environmental Sciences

Volume 5 Issue 2 2014- September 2014    Pages: 277-281 <<Previous    Next>>

Plastic ingestion by Bigeye Thresher shark Alopias superciliosus off Ratnagiri southwest coast of India

Author Information:

Diana Benjamin1, Jenson V Rozario1, Deepak Jose1, Prabhakaran M.P2, B. Madhusoodana Kurup3, Harikrishnan M1
1- School of Industrial Fisheries, Cochin University of Science and Technology,
Fine Arts Avenue, Kerala, India.
2- Marine Biology, School of Marine Sciences, Cochin University of Science and Technology, Fine Arts Avenue, Kerala, India
3- Kerala University of Fisheries and Ocean Studies, Panangad, Kerala, India.


Marine debris a majority of which is plastic is negatively affecting the survival of aquatic life worldwide. Ingestion of plastic debris by turtles, seabirds, marine mammals, and occasionally fish has been well documented but from sharks are rare from Indian Coast. The specimen obtained measured 346 cm in total length (TL), 190 cm in standard length (SL) and weighed 51 kg. The gut was examined thoroughly and 2 transparent plastic covers weighing 3.48 g and 4.32 g of 40 micron each with an area of 1200 cm2 respectively partially in tampered condition was pulled out from the foregut region. Therefore microplastic ingestion is now a common phenomenon not only affecting the lower trophic level animals but also sharks which constitute an important predator group in marine ecosystems and consequently play an essential role on energy exchange within the highest trophic levels.

Keywords: Ingestion, Plastic debris, Pollution, Marine environment, Sharks, Indian coast


© 2014 Copyright by the authors, licensee Integrated Publishing Association.This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (3.0) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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