Baseline Investigation of Microplastic Levels in the Nile Tilapia (Oreochromis Niloticus, Linnaeus, 1758) from River Okhuo, Benin City, Nigeria

  • Oiseoje Michael WANGBOJE
  • Kelvin Ajokpaogene ADEGHOR
Keywords: Oreochromis niloticus, Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy, Microplastics


Microplastic (MP) contamination of natural aquatic media has been recognized as a serious ecological problem globally. The paucity of scientific data on MP in Oreochronmis niloticus (mean total length, 22.52 ± 0.93 cm, mean weight 591.67 ± 1.18 g) from River Okhuo in Benin City, Nigeria, warranted this research which was done using Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) Spectroscopy. The mean values of MPs in fish ranged from 0.67 in July at station 2 to 2.50 in June at station 1 with no observed significant difference (p>0.05) in the mean levels of MPs between months at each station. The plastic load ranged from 0.06 to 2.21 in July at stations 3 and 1 respectively with an observed significant difference (p<0.05) in the plastic load between months at station 1. The frequency of occurrence (FO) of MPs ranged from 1.35 in July at station 2 to 2.45 in June at station 3 with an observed significant difference (p<0.05) in the FO between months at station 2. The physical classification of MPs revealed that fragments were found at all stations while the FTIR absorbance wave numbers identified the presence of polyethylene. The estimated daily intake (No./person/day) for MPs ranged from 0.0005 at station 2 to 0.001 at station 1 while the percent (%) quota of occurrence of microplastic particles ranged from 3.70% for fibres to 48.15% for fragments. In order to stem the tide of plastic pollution, it was recommened that a continuous monitoring programme be put in place along with effective public enlightenment that would ensure that the River Okhuo and its resources are protected from the negative impacts of MPs.


Abisha, C., Kutty, R., Gurjar, U.R., Jaiswar, A.K., Deshmuke, G., Sasidharan, A. & Martin-Xavier, K.A. (2024). Microplastic prevalence, diversity and characteristics in commercially important edible bivalves and gastropods in relation to environmental matrices. Journal of Hazardous Materials Advances, 13, 100392.
Ahmad, B., Muhammad, T.Y.S. & Sudirman, H.U. (2023). An overview of microplastics in the marine ecosystem of North Maluku. Technium Romanian Journal of Applied Sciences and Technology, 17, 116-120.
American Fisheries Society, American Institute of Fishery Research Biologists and American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists. (2004). Guidelines for the use of fishes in research. American Fisheries Society, Bethesda, USA. 57 pp.
Do Amparo, S.Z.S., Carvalho, L. D., Silva, G.G. & Viana, M.M. (2023). Microplastics as contaminants in the Brazillian environment: An updated review. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 195, 1414.
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (2017). Microplastics in fisheries and aquaculture. Status of knowledge on their occurrence and implications for aquatic organisms and food safety. FAO Technical Paper Number 165. 147 pp.
Han, Z., Jiang, J., Xia, Q., Yan, C. & Cui, C. (2024). Occurrence and fate of microplastics from a water source to two different drinking water treatment plants in a megacity in eastern China. Environmental Pollution, 346, 123546.
Idodo-Umeh, G. (2003). Freshwater fishes of Nigeria (Taxonomy, Ecological notes, Diet and Utilization). Idodo-Umeh publishers, Benin City, Nigeria. 232 pp.
Karmakar, S. (2023). Impacts of Microplastics on Marine Organisms: A Comprehensive Overview. Just Agriculture, 4(2), 1-4.
Kooi, M. & Koelmans, A.A. (2019). Simplifying microplastic via continuous probability distributions for size, shape and density. Environmental Science and Technology Letters, 6, 551-557.
Laelandi, R., Sriyati, S., & Prima, D.E.C. (2023). Science practicum activities through water and air pollution experiments on environmental pollution materials in junior high schools. Journal of Science Education and Practice, 7(2), 1-15.
Li, T., Xu., B., Chen, H., Shi, Y., Li, J., Yu, M., Xia, S. & Wu, S. (2024). Gut toxicity of Polystyrene microplastics and Polychrorinated biphenyls to Eisenia fetida: Single and co-exposure effects with a focus on links between gut bacteria and bacterial translocation stemming from gut barrier damage. Science of the Total Environment, 908, 168254.
Li, Y., Ye, Y., Rihan, N., Zhu, B., Jiang, Q., Liu, X., Zhao, Y. & Che, X. (2023). Polystyrene nanoplastics induce lipid metabolism disorder and alter fatty acid composition in the hepatopancreas of Pacific Whiteleg shrimp (Litopenaeus vannamei). Science of the Total Environment, 906, 167616.
Maaike, V., Ting, Z., Colin, J. R. & Jana, A. (2023). Policy informing brief: Analysis on the link between microplastics, the environment and public health. Ghent University, Belgium, 136 pp.
Manohar, N.S. & Sonune, K.N. (2023). Effects of micro plastic contamination on marine life and coral health in coastal waters. International Journal of Innovations in Scientific Engineering, 17, 16-20.
O’Brien, N. & Rippon, C. (2023). Evidence review in support of management advice on supporting services for mobile species MPAs. JNCC Report 744, October 2023, JNCC, Peterborough. 50pp.
Olaosebikan, B. D. & Raji, A. (2013). Field guide to Nigerian freshwater fishes. Federal College of Freshwater Fisheries Technology, New Bussa, Nigeria. 106 pp.
Saikumar, S., Mani, R., Ganesan, M., Dhinakarasamy, I., Palanisami, T. & Gopal, D. (2024). Tropic transfer and their impact of microplastics on estuarine food chain model. Journal of Hazardous Materials, 464, 132927.
Seetapan, K. & Prommi, T. O. (2023). Microplastics in commercial fish digestive tracts from freshwater habitats in Northern Thailand. Ecologica Montenegrina, 68, 48-65.
Tabl, G.A., El-Naggar, S.A., El-Desouki, N.I., & Elmorsi, H.W. (2023). Long-term administrations of microplastics induces hepatorenal and intestinal tissues damages in experimentalmice. Biological and Biomedical Journal, 1(2), 43-57.
Teeratitayangkul, P., Nummisri, S., Yodle1, C.,Wattanakornsiri, A. & Pongthipun Phuengphai, P. (2023). Microplastics Contamination in Water Supply Sources of Ping River, Chiang Mai Province, Thailand. Environment Asia, 16(3), 161-170.
Uchida, K., Hagita, R., Hayashi, T. & Tokai, T. (2016). Distribution of small plastic fragments floating in the western Pacific Ocean from 2000 to 2001. Fisheries Science, 82(6), 969-974.
Unnimaya, S., Mithun, N., Lukose, J., Nair, M.P., Gopinath, A. & Chidangil, S. (2023). Identification of microplastics using a custom built micro-Raman Spectrometer. Journal of Physics: Conference Series, 2426, 012007.
Wiradana, P.A., Sandhika ,M.G.S., Widhiantara, G., Rizqy, A.N., Soegianto, A. & Yulianto, B. (2023). Contaminants and human health risks associated with exposure to microplastic ingestion of Green Mussels (Perna viridis) collected from the Kedonganan Fish Market, Bali. Jurnal Medik Veteriner, 6(2), 197-208.
World Fish Center (2023). Worldfish in Nigeria. Retrieved October 24, 2023, from
Xiong, X., Wang, J., Liu, J. & Xiao, T.(2023). Microplastics and potentially toxic elements: A review of interactions, fate and bioavailability in the environment. Environmental Pollution, 340(2), 122754.
Yang, L., Matsuda, A.T., Kawaguchi, T., Fortunato,H. & Matsuishi, T.F. (2023). Analysis of microplastics in the intestines of stranded cetaceans. AACL Bioflux, 15(5), 2746-2756.
Zhu, M., Wang, H., Han, F., Cai, Z., Wang, J. & Guo, M. (2023). Polyethylene microplastics cause apoptosis via the Mir-132/CAPN axis and inflammation in Carp ovarian. Aquatic Toxicology, 265, 106780.
How to Cite
WANGBOJE, O. M., & ADEGHOR, K. A. (2024). Baseline Investigation of Microplastic Levels in the Nile Tilapia (Oreochromis Niloticus, Linnaeus, 1758) from River Okhuo, Benin City, Nigeria. European Journal of Science, Innovation and Technology, 4(1), 335-345. Retrieved from