What type of plastic do sea turtles in Korean waters mainly ingest? Quantity, shape, color, size, polymer composition, and original usage SCIE SCOPUS

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What type of plastic do sea turtles in Korean waters mainly ingest? Quantity, shape, color, size, polymer composition, and original usage
Moon, Yelim; Shim, Won Joon; Han, Gi Myung; Jeong, Jong Wook; Cho, Youna; Kim, Il-Hun; Kim, Min-Seop; Lee, Hae-Rim; Hong, Sang Hee
KIOST Author(s)
Moon, Ye Lim(문예림)Shim, Won Joon(심원준)Han, Gi Myung(한기명)Jeong, Jong Wook(정종욱)Cho, You Na(조유나)Hong, Sang Hee(홍상희)
Alternative Author(s)
문예림; 심원준; 한기명; 정종욱; 조유나; 홍상희
Publication Year
Globally, sea turtles are at high risk of ingesting plastic. However, research on plastic ingestion by sea turtles in East Asia is scant, and no quantitative or qualitative investigation has been conducted in Korean waters. This study examined the plastic ingestion of sea turtles stranded, floating, or incidentally captured in Korean waters between 2012 and 2018. The quantity, shape, color, size, polymer type, and original usage of plastic debris (>1 mm) ingested by sea turtles were analyzed after being sorted from the gastrointestinal tracts of 34 turtles (21 loggerheads (Caretta caretta), 9 green turtles (Chelonia mydas), 2 leatherbacks (Dermochelys coriacea), and 2 olive ridleys (Lepidochelys olivacea)). The ingestion frequencies of greens, loggerheads, olive ridleys, and leatherbacks were 100%, 81%, 50%, and 50%, respectively. The mean amount of plastic ingested was 108 ± 253 mg/kg (38 ± 61 n/ind.). The ingested debris tended to be films and fibers (>80%), light in color (white and transparent; 65%), and light polymers (polyethylene, polypropylene, polypropylene [poly (ethylene:propylene)], expanded polystyrene; 93%). The original uses were identified for 187 pieces; single-use plastics (e.g., plastic bag and packaging) and fishing and aquaculture items (e.g., twine and net) were found to dominate. Green turtles (264 ± 433 mg/kg) ingested significantly higher amounts of plastic than loggerheads (72.8 ± 156 mg/kg). Green turtles ingested mostly fibers (51%), such as rope, twine, and net, while loggerheads ingested largely films (61%), such as plastic bags and packaging. Interspecies differences in quantities and shapes of ingested debris may be related to their distinct feeding habits and geographical range of movement. The present study demonstrates that sea turtles foraging in Korean waters are considerably affected by marine plastic debris, and indicates that proper waste management of single-use plastics and fishing gears is urgently needed to mitigate the damage that plastic debris causes to marine wildlife. © 2022 Elsevier Ltd
Bibliographic Citation
Environmental Pollution, v.298, 2022
Elsevier Ltd
Ingestion; Interspecies difference; Marine organism; Origin; Plastic debris
Document Type
Elsevier Ltd
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