Microplastics Found in River Fish Commonly Consumed in South Kalimantan

Arfi Bambani
Prigi Arisandi taking water samples from Kuin River in South Kalimantan  to check microplastics
Prigi Arisandi taking water samples from Kuin River in South Kalimantan to check microplastics - The Nusantara River Expedition Team (ESN) in collaboration with the Telapak Association of the South Kalimantan Territory Agency, found that 10 species of fish that are consumed by the public contain microplastics.

In a written statement received by Antara in Banjarmasin, Sunday, September 4, 2022, the findings were discovered during the Banjarmasin City River expedition from August 26, 2022, to September 1, 2022.

Prigi Arisandi a researcher from ESN said the expedition in Banjarmasin tracked the Kuin River, Martapura River, and Barito River. These three rivers are part of the Barito watershed (DAS) which is included in the national river list, the downstream is in South Kalimantan and the upstream reaches Central Kalimantan.

"By using a klotok boat, we go along the river by testing water quality, testing microplastics, and mapping waste generation in the river," he said.

Based on the expedition report, the 10 fish tested for microplastic content were Patung, Seluang, Tambubuk, Lompok, Lais, Nila, Puyau, Sisili, Hadungan, and Sanggringan. Of the 10 species, Lais fish is number one for contamination because it contains 135 microplastic particles. While the least was Saluang fish with 18 microplastic particles.

"The average microplastic content in fish stomachs in the Barito watershed is 53 microplastic particles in one fish," he said.

Based on the water content test result, he reported, that all river water in the Barito watershed has been contaminated with microplastics with an average of 56 microplastic particles (PM) in 100 liters of water. The highest microplastic content is known to be at the location of the Martapura River right in front of the Proboscis Monkey Statue, which is 125 PM/100 liters.

“Microplastics are plastic flakes less than 5 mm in size that come from the breakdown of plastic waste such as crackle bags, Styrofoam, plastic bottles, straws, fishing gear, diapers, and other plastic waste that is dumped in the Barito River due to exposure to sunlight and pollution. Due to the physical influence of tides, this plastic waste will be brittle and break up into small crumbs,” Arisandi explained in the report.

Factors affecting the river ecosystem from microplastics, among others, are the lack of waste transportation services from people's homes to temporary waste collection points. Furthermore, the lack of awareness of sorting waste and disposing of waste in its place, the massive use of single-use plastics, and the ineffectiveness of regulations for reducing plastic use.

Tag # indonesia water pollution # indonesia microplastics # plastic waste # indonesia plastic waste # nusantara river expedition

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