Microplastics in Coastal Marine Animals: Defining the problem
The PIs will address the need for fundamental knowledge about the potential threat posed by microplastics and nanoplastics to commercially and ecologically important groups of shellfish and finfish around Cape Cod. Very little is known about microplastic concentrations accumulated by organisms and nothing is known about concentrations of nanoplastics in seafood. To address this gap, the researchers will use state-of-the-art equipment to determine if micro- and nanoplastics (1000x smaller than a microparticle) are found in the tissues of quahogs, oysters, blue mussels, soft-shell clams, mummichogs (Atlantic killifish), and black sea bass. In addition, they will determine the fate of different sized particles after consumption – specifically whether consumed particles can travel from the animal’s gut into other tissues.