This is yet another terrifying reminder of the ocean’s plastic pollution problem: a dead sperm whale has been discovered with 29kg of plastic waste inside its stomach.
Plastic bags and rubbish sacks were among the waste items discovered inside the 32ft mammal’s digestive system which washed up on a beach in Spain. After the whale was found in southeast Murcia in February 2018, the El Valle Wildlife Rescue Centre carried out an investigation and has now concluded that the mammal died because it couldn’t digest the huge amount of plastic waste in its stomach and intestines.
The investigation also confirmed that the whale weighed seven tonnes. This is in shocking contrast to the 45-tonne weight of an average male sperm whale, which regularly feeds on large squid, fish, and sharks.
The eye-opening discovery has prompted a campaign that highlights the dangers of dumping rubbish in the ocean. The campaign by the regional Murcia government is also backed by the European Environment Agency as well as the European Commission’s European Fund for Regional Development.
According to the environment director-general of Murcia, Consuelo Rosauro, “the presence of plastics in seas and oceans is one of the greatest threats to the conservation of wildlife throughout the world since many animals are trapped in the trash or ingest large amounts of plastic, which end up causing their death. The region of Murcia is no stranger to this problem, which we must tackle through clean-up actions and – above all – citizen awareness.”
Also, according to reports, at least 30 sperm whales have washed up on European beaches during the last few years. This number includes 13 in northern Germany in 2016. Those discoveries intensify the urgent need for people to act now to drastically lower plastic consumption before it is too late.
Reference: Truth Theory
This article originally titled Shocking Picture Of Whale With 29kg Of Plastic In Its Stomach Alarms The World About The Huge Plastic Pollution Problem) and published by Thinking Humanity. It is re-posted here under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License
(The picture is a representation of a dead whale from ingestion of plastic created by Greenpeace Philippines. Credit: Greenpeace Philippines)
FOLLOW US ON INSTAGRAM HERE