Credit: by WikimediaImages/ Pixabay/ Image for representation purpose only

Dead Whale In Philippines Had The Most Plastic Ever Seen

by | March 25, 2019

News of animals choking to death and strangled by plastics are not new. As much as plastics harm the terrestrial animals, it does more harm to the aquatic life. The world uses plastic for its benefit, and it ends up as a bane to the sea-life. In a ‘disgusting’ incident involving plastics, a whale was washed up on the seas of the Philippines as it died of what we carelessly use and throw- plastic. Read on to know more.

Credit: D’Bone Collector Museum/ Facebook

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Dead Whale In Philippines Had The Most Plastic Ever Seen

The animal- a Cuvier’s beaked whale ingested a hefty 40 kilograms of plastic as it died from what they call ‘gastric shock,’ told the Guardians. The body of the dead animal was recovered by D’Bone Collector Museum workers earlier this month from the east of Davao city. Autopsy images of the animal confirmed the presence of various plastics and it was found the plastic mass weighted 40 kilograms. It included 16 rice bags, among others. Scientists on board the D’Bone Collector Museum were shocked to find the incident. A Facebook post by the same Museum wrote- “this whale had the most plastic we have ever seen in a whale.”

According to environmentalist and Marine biologist Darrell Blatchley who spoke to CNN said that the juvenile male Cuvier’s beaked whale was emaciated and has been even “vomiting blood before it died,” alongside showing signs of dehydration. He also said he was not prepared of what they discovered after performing a necropsy, mentioning- there was so much plastic inside the whale’s stomach that they even started to calcify.

“I was not prepared for the amount of plastic,” he said, adding “40 kilos roughly of rice sacks, grocery bags, banana plantation bags, and general plastic bags. Sixteen rice sacks in total. It was so big, the plastic was beginning calcification.”

Credit: by Dvorakova Veronika/ Shutterstock

Disclosing more about the behavior of these beautiful creatures Blatchley explained whales like many other cetaceans don’t drink water as such from the sea. They eat large amounts of food and their system absorbs the required water. As because, in this case, the whale has ingested plastic, it was unable to eat enough amount of food to meet his body’s water requirements, leading the cetacean to starvation, dehydration and finally death, stated CNN.

This is One Whale. The Problem is Uncountable Plastics.

A similar incident happened in 2018, where a pilot whale died off coast southern Thailand as it consumed 80 plastic bags. The whale vomited five bags while the officials tried to save the ailing animal only to their vain efforts, reported BBC on June last year.

Credit: By Mr.anaked/ Shutterstock

Speaking about the more significant problem- the root cause of such deaths, Peter Kemple Hardy, an animal welfare charity campaigner at World Animal Protection said to the CNN- hundreds of thousands of seals, dolphins, whales, and turtles lose their lives to ocean plastic pollution every year. Stating that such plastics include abandoned plastic materials from the fishing industry and single-use plastics that end up in the oceans.

The BBC reported discarded plastic is a significant problem in specific Southeast Asian nation like the Philippines. According to a report by McKinsey Center for Business and Environment and Ocean Conservancy published in 2015, five Asian countries- Thailand, Vietnam, Philippines, Indonesia, and China accounts for as much as 60% of the oceanic plastic wastes. These nations have been dumping more trash in the oceans than the rest of the countries combined.

According to reports, the number of plastics in the oceans are supposed to increase many folds in the upcoming decades, as long as serious measures to curb the same are not taken. Reports reflect real-life. What do you think? Let us know in the comments below.

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Debayan Paul

Digital Writer | West Bengal, India | [email protected]



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