Date of Award
Master of Science in Coastal Marine and Wetland Studies
Coastal and Marine Systems Science
College of Science
Daniel C. Abel
George E. Boneillo
Kevin S. Godwin
The digestive tracts and livers of adult male Atlantic sharpnose sharks (N=16), Rhizoprionodon terraenovae, from Winyah Bay, South Carolina were examined for ingested microplastics. R. terraenovae is a small, locally abundant, coastal mesopredatory elasmobranch belonging to the family Carcharhinidae. Microfibers comprised the largest categories of plastics (94% of the total), and were found in 100% of sharks examined. The number of micro- and other plastics ranged from 34 to 75 per individual and totaled 927. The majority of plastics (40%) were blue in coloration, and 55% were <1 mm in length. Microplastics were observed on both the interior and exterior of the organs examined, and three microfibers were embedded within the stomach lining, an observation not previously reported in marine vertebrates and one which represents a potential pathway for the translocation of ingested microplastics.
Pullen, Elise Virginia, "Microplastics in the Digestive System of the Atlantic Sharpnose Shark (Rhizoprionodon terraenovae) in Winyah Bay, SC" (2019). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 110.