Late this February, 2018, beachgoers at Cabo de Palos in Spain came upon the gruesome sight of a dead juvenile sperm whale washed upon the beach. More disturbing, the nearly 65 pounds (29 kg) of plastic bags and other trash lodged in its intestines which led to its slow and painful death in our increasingly polluted oceans.
#MedioAmbiente lanza una #campaña para concienciar sobre el peligro de las #basurasmarinas para la #Fauna Ejemplo: La necropsia de un #Cachalote varado 🐋 detectó en su aparato digestivo 29 kg de basura 😢#StopBasurasMarinas #Concienciación ♻️+inf: https://t.co/mLjhNreLlx pic.twitter.com/dqejUXFkWS— EspaciosNaturalesMur (@EspNaturalesMur) April 4, 2018
Just months later on May 28th, a male pilot whale was found struggling to keep above water and breathe in Thailand near the border with Malaysia. After five days of veterinary assistance, and vomiting up several plastic bags, the weakened whale finally succumbed to what an autopsy revealed as dozens more plastic bags lodged in its stomach. The bags, which resemble the pilot whale's diet of squid and octopus when floating in water, totaled to a combined weight of 17 lbs (7.71 kg).
Oceans apart, these two whales are a warning and a call to action for us all. Experts agree that many more whales are likely suffering and dying from plastic-impaction than the few that have been actually found and documented. These cases are indicative of a much larger problem affecting whales, turtles, seabirds, fish, etc, which in this connected world environment means that we're all affected.
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