Published: Thu, March 21, 2019
Sci-tech | By Patricia Wade

Shocking autopsy photos show toll of plastic waste on dead whale

Shocking autopsy photos show toll of plastic waste on dead whale

In June past year, a pilot whale died in Thailand after swallowing 80 plastic bags.

"I was not prepared for the amount of plastic", Blatchley said.

"The discovery of ingested plastic bags in stranded animals.suggests that increasing levels of plastic pollution could be a more serious threat to the species".

Shocking pictures of the huge plastic haul being removed from the whale's digestive system appeared on Facebook after attempts to save the animal on the shores of the Mabini Compostela Valley floundered.

A necropsy examination of the 15.4-foot juvenile, conducted by American marine biologist Darrell Blatchley and Dr. Elaine Vera Belvis of the Philippines Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, Fishery Management Regulatory and Enforcement Division, revealed the presence of "16 rice sacks, 4 banana plantation style bags and multiple shopping bags", according to a post on Blatchley's Facebook site.

"It was full of plastic - nothing but nonstop plastic", he said.

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"In Davao Gulf alone, three whales and a dolphin have been found dead with plastic in their stomach this year, and we are just about to close the first quarter of 2019".

Plastic bags and similar packaging material also end up in the oceans, commonly resulting in the death of marine animals.

Environmentalists have long targeted the Philippines, branding them amongst the worst ocean polluters principally as a result of the large scale use of single-use plastic products.

Upon his arrival at the scene, Blatchley noticed that the whale showed signs of emaciation and dehydration.

A 2017 report by Ocean Conservancy stated that China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam have been dumping more plastic into the ocean than the rest of the world combined.

Whales don't drink water from the ocean, Darrell explained, "It's from the food they eat that they get their fresh water. How many dead whales, dolphins, or sea turtles do we need before we wake up and take drastic action on plastic pollution?"

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