Plastics are ubiquitous in our lives, which has resulted in high amounts of plastics in the enviroment. In particular, microplastics (plastics <5mm) are often unseen by the naked eye, but very abundant in aquatic systems. Starting in 2018, we began a project that is investigating microplastic loads in fish (stomachs) throughout the Mississippi River watershed. By partnering with state agencies throughout the watershed, we are collecting and analyzing stomachs from 5 different fish species, which also represent 5 different feeding types. We hope to address questions of whether microplastic loads in fish increase downstream in the Mississippi River, and what the relative microplastic loads in fishes are between the mainstem Mississippi River and its major tributaries.
- Dr. Mark Benfield
- Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries
- Arkansas Fish and Game Commission
- Missouri Department of Conservation
- Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
- Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
Please contact me for any materials.