Dead whales found with 88 lbs. of plastic in stomach

Katie Ramirez
March 18, 2019

Workers from the D'Bone Collector Museum Davao City in the Philippines recovered the whale - a male - on Saturday (March 16) and later performed a necropsy.

Darrell Blatchley received a call from the Philippines Bureau of Fisheries and Acquatic Resources (BFAR) early Friday morning to report that they had a young Cuvier's beaked whale that was weak and vomiting blood. He said it "had the most plastic we have ever seen in a whale".

A young whale whose carcass washed up in the Philippines died of "dehydration and starvation" after consuming 40 kilograms (88 pounds) of plastic bags, scientists have found.

A dead whale that washed up in the Philippines had 40kg (88lbs) of plastic bags inside its stomach, researchers have said. "I was not prepared for the amount of plastic", said Blatchley. Including 16 rice sacks.

The problem also plagues the archipelago´s neighbours, with a sperm whale dying in Indonesia previous year with almost six kilograms of plastic waste discovered in its stomach. In coming days, the museum will post all the items found in the whale's system, the museum said in a post on its Facebook page.

A month later, a pilot whale swallowed 17 pounds of plastic bags in Thai waters. "It was so big; the plastic was beginning calcification". "It's disgusting. Action must be taken by the government against those who continue to treat the waterways and ocean as dumpsters".

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The use of single-use plastic is rampant in south-east Asia.

A 2017 study predicted a spike in plastic-related waste over the next decade, further highlighting potential future harm to marine life.

"If you have 80 plastic bags in your stomach, you die", marine biologist Thon Thamrongnawasawat told Agence France-Presse at the time, adding that the plastic probably prevented the whale from digesting food.

Around 8.8 million tons (8 million metric tons) of plastic get dumped into the ocean every year, according to a 2015 report by the nonprofit Ocean Conservancy.

As the whale was no longer able to consume large amounts of food due to the ingested plastic, it died of "dehydration and starvation", Blatchley said.

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