Dead Philippines whale had 40kg of plastic in stomach
19 March, 2019, 05:07 | Author: Marie Harrington
In a Facebook post, the natural history museum said that the body of the juvenile male Cuvier's beaked whale that they recovered March 16 had the most plastic in its digestive system of any whale they had ever seen. Staff from the country's Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Fishery Management Regulatory Division performed a necropsy on the whale to find out the cause of death, led by Dr Elaine Belvis and American marine biologist Darrel Blatchley who owns D'Bone Collector Museum. Recovered from inside the beaked whale were 16 rice sacks, four plastic bags used in banana plantations, multiple shopping bags, and hundreds of other small pieces of plastic packaging.
"I was not prepared for the amount of plastic", he told the news outlet.
He said the full list of plastic materials will be itemized in the coming days.
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The death comes just weeks after the Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternative released a report on the "shocking" amount of single-use plastic in the Philippines, including almost 60 billion sachets a year. Cetaceans - marine mammals including whales, dolphins and porpoises - do not drink ocean water but absorb fresh water through their food, he explained.
Although scientists weren't able to ascertain what killed the animal, it was a harsh warning about the dangers of plastic pollution.
Blatchley said that in the last 10 years, at least 57 of the 61 whales whose skeletal remains are in his museum "died due to human causes".
"This can not continue", Blatchley said, noting the Philippines ranks as the second most plastic-polluted country in the world.
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