Our Plastic Problem: Whales are Dying

As most people know by now, our pollution problem as a planet is reaching critical mass, and we have to change what we’re doing soon if we want to salvage the planet. The latest example of this occurred in late February, when a sperm whale was found dead after swallowing 64 pounds of plastic. It was found on the Murcian coast in souther Spain, away from the infamous “Pacific Garbage Patch”.

Following an investigation by the El Valle Wildlife Rescue Center, it was found the whale died due to gastric shock of its stomach, caused by the ingestion of 64 pounds of plastic. Different pieces of plastic were found in the intestines, including bags, nets, ropes, and sacks. The plastic caused the walls of the whales abdomen to become inflamed due to infection.

Sperm Whale Stomach Full of Plastic
Sperm Whale Stomach Full of Plastic

The whale, which is an endangered species, was over 6 tons, and 33 feet in length. Following the whale’s death, the government of Murcia announced a campaign against dumping plastics into the water. The community continues to raise awareness to the growing plastic problem.

Plastic in the ocean’s is becoming more and more of a threat to marine life globally, with no signs of stopping. Marine experts have recently stated plastic in oceans could outweigh the fish by 2050. This isn’t just a far off issue. Next time you’re at the beach take a look around and you will see trash all over. This is just “the tip of the iceberg” as the oceans themselves hold orders of magnitude more garbage than you can see in your city or at the beach.

With these facts in mind, whale deaths look like they will continue, as only 2 years ago 13 sperm whales washed ashore due to similar circumstances.

Countries continue to make steps, but it hasn’t been enough yet. But, as beaches and oceans continue to be cleaned up, they may see progress.


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