Microplastics: EU-funded COMMON project puts marine species under observation

April 8, 2020
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Sardines, red mullets, sea breams, cods, anchovies, tuna and red prawns: these are just some of the 116 species affected by marine litter, according to the ISPRA researchers, whose studies assess the presence of plastics and microplastics in the gastrointestinal tract to document their ingestion.

“Most of the studies conducted so far have investigated the presence of microplastics in stomach contents only, explains Maria Cristina Fossi, professor of ecotoxicology of the University of Siena. To evaluate the negative effects due to the transfer of microplastics in marine species and, consequently , in the human being there is also the need to analyze other components, such as blood samples and muscle tissues”.

This is what the studies of the EU-funded COMMON project will contribute to, providing for the sampling of fish species in collaboration with fishermen from three Mediterranean countries : Italy, Lebanon and Tunisia.

“We will work with Lebanon and Tunisia in an integrated way, to evaluate not only the presence of ingested microplastics, but also that of additives transported by microplastics and we will evaluate the ecotoxicological effects related to their presence, adds Cristina Fossi, partner of the project. Common will bring to light new information compared to the existing one, not only for the type of analysis but also for its extension to non-European countries”.


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Press release

COMMON project fiche

ENI CBC Med – Cooperating across borders in the Mediterranean

Countries covered:

  • Lebanon
  • Tunisia