Worm hunters hit Sattahip Beach at low tide

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An unusually low tide in Sattahip unearthed not only a boat graveyard, but lots of marine life not easily available when the water runs deep.

Low tide at Sattahip Beach near Abhakorn Kiatiwong Hospital exposed nearly a square kilometer of seabed in late June, a phenomenon locals said they could not recall before.

Maithree Pabchompu and his family (background) have been hunting marine blood worms for more than 10 years.
Maithree Pabchompu and his family (background) have been hunting marine blood worms for more than 10 years.

Residents were out Recently to collect clams, fish, crabs and other sea creatures.  Most weren’t after the stranded seafood, but marine blood worms.

They used ingenious methods to capture the worms, using cloth wrapped around a fish so the worms can smell a meal. They place it on the sand or in a hole where the worms live and eventually they fall into the trap. Worm hunters use piping to scoop of the slimy creatures and head off to the kitchen or to the local shrimp farm.

Maithree Pabchompu, 37, said that he and his family have been hunting marine blood worms for more than 10 years. But they aren’t always easily available.

He said they can be sold to shrimp farms at 500 baht a kilogram, earning them 5,000-10,000 baht a day.

The worms are used as a food source for shrimp to spur mating and egg-laying.

Wrecked ships and smaller boats that sank over the years were exposed during the low tide as well. The ship graveyard has since become home to fish, coral and sea plants, all of which were stranded by the tide.