Impact of microplastics and nanoplastics on fish health and reproduction

Bhat R. A. H., Sidiq M. J., ALTINOK İ.

Aquaculture, vol.590, 2024 (SCI-Expanded) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Review
  • Volume: 590
  • Publication Date: 2024
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.aquaculture.2024.741037
  • Journal Name: Aquaculture
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, PASCAL, Aquatic Science & Fisheries Abstracts (ASFA), Artic & Antarctic Regions, BIOSIS, CAB Abstracts, Food Science & Technology Abstracts, Pollution Abstracts, Veterinary Science Database
  • Keywords: Antibiotic-resistant genes, Fish welfare, Microplastic, Nanoplastic
  • Karadeniz Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Microplastic (MP) contamination is a worldwide threat to aquatic organisms and human health. Aquatic environments are ideal and ultimate sinks for the MPs. They are negatively impacting the physical and physiological fitness of various fish species. Virgin MPs and nanoparticles (NPs) compromise immune, digestive, and reproductive systems, induce intestinal dysbiosis, and may have transgenerational effects. Even prolonged exposure to small ambient levels of MPs in aquatic environments has been found hazardous for fish. Moreover, plastisphere formation in aquatic habitats provides an excellent source and carrier for transporting contaminants, antimicrobial-resistant genes, and pathogens. Also,numerous studies utilize artificially produced virgin MPs and NPs containing toxic chemicals used in their manufacture. When these plastics interact with water and organisms, they may release the toxic compounds, leading to the promulgation of detrimental effects. However, in nature, MPs and NPs produced or introduced in aquatic environments appear to have varying degrees of adverse impact on aquatic organisms, due to their presence in substantial diluting environments. The work done so far suggests that evaluations of MP impact in aquatic habitats should be performed at a mass scale and in diverse fish species to get a clear picture of this hazard. This article reviews the most recent literature on the influence of virgin MPs and NPs on fish welfare, with a particular focus on their health and reproductive functions.