Current efforts on microplastic monitoring in Arctic fish and how to proceed

Tanja Kögel, Bonnie M. Hamilton, Maria E. Granberg, Jennifer F. Provencher, Sjúrður Hammer, Alessio Gomiero, Kerstin Magnusson, Amy L. Lusher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


In this review, we investigated published data on the occurrence of microplastic in Arctic fish, and the suitability of the data and species for risk assessment and monitoring. As of 11.11.2021, we found nine studies in the peer-reviewed literature, one thesis and one report, confirming the occurrence of microplastic in fishes from multiple Arctic regions. The studies varied in methodology, detection and quantification limitations, reported categories of size, shape, and chemical identity. All these factors influence the numbers of microplastic reported, thus limiting comparability and hindering integrative analysis. The physiological impacts of the reported microplastic contamination cannot be determined, as all studies targeted stomach/intestine contents and did not use methods with limits of detection low enough to determine particle translocation from the intestine to other organs, tissues or body fluids within the fish. Furthermore, there is a fundamental lack of understanding the transfer and the effects of plastic additives to Arctic fishes. In addition to discussing methodological challenges and knowledge gaps, we consider ecosystem needs, commercial interests, Indigenous people's subsistence, food safety and food sovereignty concerns, and developed a framework to harmonize and facilitate pan-Arctic microplastic monitoring.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages18
JournalArctic Science
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2022


  • microplastic
  • Arctic
  • fish
  • monitoring
  • plastic


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