Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Assessment of plastic ingestion by pole-caught pelagic predatory fish around Oahu, Hawaii



K D. Hyrenbach, Zora McGinnis, Kathleen Paige, Dan Rapp, F. D. Horgen, Jennifer Lynch


While the occurrence of plastic ingestion in the large-sized dolphinfish and tunas taken by the Hawaii longline fishery is very low (< 5 %), the ingestion rates for the smaller fish caught with pole-and-line have not been documented. This study examined plastic ingestion by predatory fish caught by commercial fishers around the Main Hawaiian Islands, in relation to their foraging ecology. We documented plastic ingestion in three species (85.7 % of albacore tuna, 40.0 % of skipjack tuna, and 12.5 % of dolphinfish), and found no debris in yellowfin tuna. In spite of the broad diets of these predatory fishes, there were significant species-specific differences in their stomach contents and the stable isotopic ratios (δ13C, δ15N) of their muscle tissue. Furthermore, while albacore and skipjack ingested mostly plastic fragments made up of the lighter polymers, albacore contained disproportionately more polypropylene and polyethylene. Altogether, these results suggest that these species sample different food web components.
Aquatic Conservation-Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems


tuna, dolphinfish, plastic ingestion, diet, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, Hawaii


Hyrenbach, K. , McGinnis, Z. , Paige, K. , Rapp, D. , Horgen, F. and Lynch, J. (2020), Assessment of plastic ingestion by pole-caught pelagic predatory fish around Oahu, Hawaii, Aquatic Conservation-Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems, [online], (Accessed May 19, 2024)


If you have any questions about this publication or are having problems accessing it, please contact

Created September 30, 2020, Updated October 12, 2021