MICROPLASTICS were found in wild fish from the Great World Barrier Reef World Heritage area, including popular Heron and One Tree Island sites.
A study by the Australian Institute for Marine Research, Townsville, was the first study to report the detection of artificial filaments in coral trout. Research found 115 pieces of waste in the intestine of 19 young coral trout collected on coral reefs of Heron, One Tree, Lizard and Orpheus Island.
It is not yet known what the long-term consequences of microplastics for fish in the regions are.
Target Ecologist The goals of Dr Frederieke Kroon stated that 94 percent of the items were a mixture of semi-synthetic and natural materials, while only six percent were synthetic.
"Our initial analysis suggests that the state of the studied young coral trout was not affected by the amount of ingested microparticles in its gut." Kroon.
"Whether it has a long-term impact on the reproduction of coral trout or mortality, we do not know yet."
The study did not investigate the potential risk to human consumers, as the items were found in the intestines, which is traditionally eliminated before consumption.
The AIMS targets also launched a project focused on the microplastic seawater contamination in Queensland on a wider scale, including adult coral trout.