Monday, 18 March 2019 12:55

Spain: Are microplastics a problem in marine aquaculture?

EM2 19 News Int dsc 0364 1To date no record of microplastics has been discovered in marine farmed fish. However, media attention on this issue grows exponentially and has a direct impact on consumers purchasing seafood products. The reality is, however, that similar problems affect terrestrial farming. APROMAR is leading a project, ACUIPLAS, that will analyse the possible problems caused by the contamination by plastic waste in three aquaculture species; seabream, sea bass, and turbot, to rule out the presence of microplastics in them. In addition, the project will perform water and feed analyses. The project started with a bibliographic study of contamination by plastic waste and associated toxic substances to identify possible direct and indirect incidences of plastics in marine aquaculture products and especially, in growing species in protected Natura 2000 areas. This work is in its development phase after which sampling and analytics will be carried out using infrared spectroscopy. The results obtained will lead to the identification of strategic measures and a set of good practices to minimize incidences of plastic waste which will be applied throughout the aquaculture sector in Spain. This project is developed in collaboration with CTAQUA, the Biodiversity Foundation, and the Ministry for Environment, and is co-financed by the EMFF. Preliminary results will be presented in October.