The research, conducted by the University of Adelaide, found microplastic fragments in 49 per cent of fish.
Lead researcher Nina Wootton from the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Adelaide said many commercial and recreational fishers weren’t aware of the extent of the problem.
“We wanted to find out what people knew about microplastic pollution in fish, from fishers to fishmongers to consumers,” she said in a statement.
“It varied, but about half weren’t aware it was an issue because South Australian oceans had such a reputation for being clean.”
There were three times as more plastic in fish from international waters, Ms Wootton added.
Researchers are now working alongside the seafood industry to educate fishers and the community about how to reduce plastic waste.
“We still have time to make sure Australian seafood products remain some of the cleanest in the world, but we need the seafood industry, and the general public, to recognise the problem and start taking positive actions now,” she said.