Occurrence of microplastics in edible seaweeds from aquaculture

Authors

  • Anirut Klomjit Marine Biodiversity Research Group, Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Ramkhamhaeng University
  • Makamas Sutthacheep Marine Biodiversity Research Group, Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Ramkhamhaeng University, Huamark, Bangkok 10240, Thailand
  • Thamasak Yeemin Marine Biodiversity Research Group, Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Ramkhamhaeng University, Huamark, Bangkok 10240, Thailand

Keywords:

C. lentillifera, G. fisheri, marine debris, contamination, macroalgae

Abstract

Microplastics have been found to cling to seaweeds, which serve as a route for microplastic transfer into the marine food web and into human consumption. Because there is a lack of understanding about microplastics in edible seaweeds, two edible seaweeds from Thai aquaculture were researched. The edible red seaweed Gracilaria fisheri and the edible green seaweed Caulerpa lentillifera were used in this investigation. Microplastics were found in seaweeds in concentrations ranging from 16.46±2.56 to 181.73±86.42 particles per 100g wet weight. Microplastics in the size classes 100-500 and 501-1,000 m were abundantly found. This study identified a lot of red, black, and blue filamentous micorplastics. Because buoyant microplastics were abundant in the first meter water surface where G. fisheri were planted in a shallow water pond, the total accumulation of microplastics on G. fisheri was considerably higher than C. lentillifera (p<0.05). When compared to commercial seaweed Pyropia spp., our findings revealed a high abundance of microplastics. Consequently, water management is essential to reduce microplastic contamination in edible seaweeds. Further research is also needed to precisely detect their presence and measure their abundance.

 

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Published

2021-08-31

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Original Articles