A de ad whale washed up on the shores in the Philippines was found to have 40kg of plastic bags inside its stomach, researchers at the D’ Bone Collector Museum said.
The mammal, a Cuvier’s beaked whale, was recovered earlier in March east of Davao City. Its stomach contents, which include “multiple shopping bags” and 16 rice sacks, was “the most plastic we have ever seen in a whale”, the museum said. The whale reportedly was spotted near the shores of Sitio Asinan, Barangay Cadunan, Mabini Compostela Valley. By 11 am, the poor creature di ed.
The juvenile male Cuvier’s beaked whale was found on March 16.
By the time marine biologist Darrell Blatchley arrived, the whale was no more. It showed signs of dehydration, starvation and was said to have vomited blood.
In an interview with CNN, Blatchley, who’s also the president and founder of D’Bone Collector Museum, said that he “was not prepared for the amount of plastic” that was seen inside of the whale’s stomach despite having worked in the museum and recovered more than 50 whales and dolphins for the last 10 years.
“Upon reaching the stomach I knew this whale had died due to plastic ingestion.I was not prepared for the amount of plastic. Forty kilos roughly of rice sacks, grocery bags, banana plantation bags and general plastic bags. Sixteen rice sacks total. It was so bad the plastic was beginning calcification. “
Warning: The following images may be unsettling for some people.
Low-cost single-use plastic is widely used in the Philippines, considering there different types of vendors in the country, including small ones by the side of the streets. The rampant use of these convenient plastics makes Philippines one of the top plastic polluters in the world.
The group has called the government to take action on the “disgusting” plastic problem in the country.
“Action must be taken by the government against those who continue to treat the waterways and ocean as dumpsters.”
Whales take in water from the food they eat but there was no indication that food made its way to the animal’s intestines for several days. The stomach acid can’t break down plastic waste and has damaged the gastric lining instead.
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