Data for: Microplastic and tire wear particle occurrence in fishes from an urban estuary: influence of feeding characteristics on exposure risk
The influence of feeding behavior and feeding ecology on microplastic occurrence in fishes in an urbanized estuary was studied by surveying microplastics in the digestive tracts (gut) of five fish species: the planktivorous Bay Anchovy and Atlantic Menhaden, the piscivore Spotted Seatrout, the benthivore Spot and the detritivore/benthivore Striped Mullet. Microplastics were found in 99% of fishes collected with an average of 27 microplastics per individual fish, 6 microplastics per gram of fish, and 21 microplastics per gram of gut, although exposure varied amongst species. Atlantic Menhaden possessed significantly more microplastic per fish weight than other species, which may be attributed to their regular ingestion of marine snow aggregates. Fibers were the most common type of microplastic in all fishes, and suspected tire wear particles were found in 14% of individuals across all five species, constituting the first evidence of tire wear particle consumption in field-collected organisms.