Learn more about microplastics in surface slicks in the National Geographic Focus Story. Researchers from our lab found highly concentrated amounts of microplastics in surface slicks, an important nursery ground for larval fish.
“Microplastics outnumbered larval fish by more than seven to one. On average there was almost 130 times as much plastic inside slicks as outside.”
“For newborn fish, to eat is to live another day; if their first meal is plastic, they’re not consuming the calories they need to sustain them until the second. The most critical moment is that first feeding. If they get a piece of plastic, that could be it. A single thread in the stomach of a larval fish is potentially a killer.”
Changes in the survival of larval fish can have cascading effects up the food chain with large impact on fish populations.