Whale Dies Of “Gastric Shock” After Ingesting 40 Kgs Of Plastic

A whale was stranded in a town in Philipines and died from “gastric shock” after ingesting 40 kgs of plastic waste. Fisherman and local officials who were called to the scene attempted to release the animal back into the ocean on Friday but the whale returned to shallow waters on Saturday, said the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources. The whale died from starvation has it was unable to eat because of the trash that filled its stomach, said Darrell Blatchley, director of D’ Bone Collector Museum Inc., which helped conduct the examination.

Darrell Blatchley, a marine mammal expert and the curator at the D’Bone Collector Museum in Davao City, was called in after the animal died at the shore. After bringing the whale to the lab to open it up for a necropsy, he was shocked to find 40 kgs of plastic jammed into its belly. “Plastic was just bursting out of its stomach,” he said. “We pulled out the first bag, then the second. By the time we hit 16 rice sacks—on top of the plastic bags,
and the snack bags, and big tangles of nylon ropes, you’re like—seriously?”

The museum in a statement on their Facebook page said they uncovered “40 kilos of plastic bags, including 16 rice sacks. 4 banana plantation style bags and multiple shopping bags” in the whale’s stomach after conducting an autopsy. It was “the most plastic we have ever seen in a whale”, said the D’ Bone Collector Museum biologists who conducted the autopsy. “It’s disgusting … Action must be taken by the government against those who continue to treat the waterways and ocean as dumpsters … We’ve done necropsies on 61 dolphins and whales in the last 10 years and this is one of the biggest (amounts of plastic) we’ve seen”, they said.

The use of single-use plastic is prevalent in south-east Asia and this has caused an increase in plastic dumpage according to reports. A report in 2017 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. Even though the Philippines has strict laws on garbage disposal, these laws are poorly implemented.

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