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Microplastic waste found in Trang fish

Fish on sale at a Trang fresh market. Researchers have found microplastic waste in the stomachs of mackerel caught in Trang province. (Photo by Methee Muangkaew)

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TRANG: Researchers have found microplastic in the stomach of mackerel caught in this southern province and will expand their study to include fish meat and shellfish.

Saowalak Khaosaeng, research assistant at the Marine National Park Operation Centre, said they began the research after daily morning study of sea debris revealed it was having an affect on the food chain in the sea off Hat Chao Mai beach, the habitat of many fish.

Researchers at the centre then collected mackerel from fishermen near the Hat Chao Mai National Park, and examined the fish stomachs. They found an average 78 pieces of microplastic in the stomach of each mackerel.

Ocean currents and saltiness broke plastic waste down into microplastic which the mackerel ate, mistaking it for food, Ms Saowalak said.

The centre planned to expand its research to include mackerel meat and other popular commercial marine life, including shellfish, and its affect on their health, she said.

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Vocabulary:

commercial : intended to be sold - ซึ่งมีจุดประสงค์เพื่อหวังกำไร

debris : broken pieces that are left when something large has been destroyed - เศษ ซากปรักหักพัง  ซากสิ่งของที่ถูกทำลาย

food chain (noun): in nature the process of larger animals eating smaller animals which are then eaten by larger animals which are eaten and so on - โซ่อาหาร (นิเวศวิทยา)

habitat : the type of place that a particular animal usually lives in or a particular plant usually grows in - ถิ่นที่อยู่ของพืชหรือสัตว์

mackerel (noun): a sea fish with greenish-blue bands on its body, that is used for food - ปลาทู, ปลาทะเลแม็กเคอเร็ล

microplastic (n): small plastic pieces less than five millimeters long -

research : a careful study of a subject, especially in order to discover new facts or information about it - การวิจัย

stomach (n): the internal organ in which the major part of the digestion of food occurs -

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