Mackerel study points to plastics crisis

Mackerel study points to plastics crisis

Marine scientists at the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation examine microplastics in the stomach of a short mackerel that was caught in the southern province of Trang. Photos by Marine National Parks Operations Centre 3 in Trang
Marine scientists at the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation examine microplastics in the stomach of a short mackerel that was caught in the southern province of Trang. Photos by Marine National Parks Operations Centre 3 in Trang

TRANG: After finding microplastics in the stomachs of mackerel caught in this southern province, researchers are expanding their study to include fish meat and shellfish.

Saowalak Khaosaeng, a research assistant at the provincial Marine National Park Operation Centre, said an initial study had indicated sea debris was having an impact on the marine food chain off Hat Chao Mai beach, an important habitat for commercial fish.

Researchers at the centre then collected mackerel from coastal fishermen near the Hat Chao Mai National Park, and examined their stomachs. They found an average of 78 pieces of microplastic, 1-5 millimetres across, in the stomach of each mackerel.

Ocean currents and saltiness breaks down plastic waste into microplastic, which the mackerel mistake for food, Ms Saowalak said.

The centre plans to expand its microplastics research to include mackerel meat and other popular commercial marine life, including shellfish, she said.

"This research is intended to make people aware of how waste should be disposed of and also to reveal the current condition of our ecosystems," Ms Saowalak said.

"Sea debris has become a crisis. Everyone should help solve the problem at its root, especially by reducing the amount of waste we dump."

She said many marine creatures were contaminated by plastic debris.

Marine scientists at the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation examine microplastics in the stomach of a short mackerel that was caught in the southern province of Trang. Photos by Marine National Parks Operations Centre 3 in Trang

Marine scientists at the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation examine microplastics in the stomach of a short mackerel that was caught in the southern province of Trang. Photos by Marine National Parks Operations Centre 3 in Trang


Do you like the content of this article?
COMMENT

Mazda 3 wins 2019 Thailand Car of the Year

Japanese C-segment family car lauded for its stylish looks and sporty road manners.

16:09

Vietnam jails music teacher for 11 years over 'anti-state' Facebook posts

HANOI: A court in Vietnam jailed a music teacher for 11 years on Friday for a series of posts on Facebook that the government said were "anti-state".

15:45

Qantas completes test 19-hour London-Sydney flight

PERTH, Australia: Australian national carrier Qantas on Friday completed a 19-and-a-half hour non-stop flight from London to Sydney, used to run a series of tests to assess the effects of ultra long-haul flights on crew fatigue and passenger jetlag.

14:33