A systematic review and risk matrix of plastic litter impacts on aquatic wildlife: A case study of the Mekong and Ganges River Basins

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.

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Roman, L., B.D. Hardesty, and Q. Schuyler

Publication Date

15 October 2022

Publication Name

Science of the Total Environment


Anthropogenic debris, Catfish, Dolphin, Entanglement, Gharial, Plastic ingestion