To help assess the risk to aquatic species where empirical data is lacking, this review presents i) a risk assessment methodology for predicting plastic litter impacts on aquatic wildlife in data poor environments, ii) a case study demonstrating this risk assessment methodology for wildlife across two heavily polluted river basins in Asia, the Mekong and Ganges River Basins; and iii) a broad review summarising common trends in litter interactions and risk to freshwater fish, aquatic birds, cetaceans and raptors. This risk analysis unites a systematic review approach with risk matrices following International Standards Organization’s risk assessment criteria, evaluating the risk of plastic entanglement and ingestion and the potential for harm to the animal.
A systematic review and risk matrix of plastic litter impacts on aquatic wildlife: A case study of the Mekong and Ganges River Basins
Roman, L., B.D. Hardesty, and Q. Schuyler
15 October 2022
Science of the Total Environment
Anthropogenic debris, Catfish, Dolphin, Entanglement, Gharial, Plastic ingestion