Sperm Whales Found Dead, Large Amounts of Plastic Waste in Their Stomachs

29 sperm whales found stranded on shores around the North Sea, in Germany,
France, the UK., and the Netherlands in 2016.

According to a press release from Wadden Sea National Park in Schleswig-Holstein, the stomachs of four of the thirteen whales were full of plastic debris, including pieces of plastic litter, a 13-meter-long fishing net, and a 70 cm long plastic cover from the engine compartment of a car and also sharp edges of a plastic bucket.

According to Robert Habeck, environment minister for the state of Schleswig-Holstein:

“These findings show us the results of our plastic-oriented society. Animals inadvertently consume plastic and plastic waste, which causes them to suffer, and at worst, causes them to starve with full stomachs.”

Nicola Hodgkins of Whale and Dolphin Conservation added:

“Although the large pieces will cause obvious problems and block the gut, we shouldn’t dismiss the smaller bits that could cause a more chronic problem for all species of cetacean – not just those who suction feed.”

This is not the first case happened. In 2011 a young whale was found floating dead off the Greek Island of Mykonos. Biologists thought that the whale has swallowed a giant squid when the saw his distended stomach, but there were 100 plastic bags and other pieces of debris.

The sperm whales died of heart failure, while they were mistakenly swimming into the North Sea, searching for squid, and were unable to support their body weight in the shallow water, so they internal organs collapsed said the National Geographic.

“Male sperm whales normally migrate from their tropical or subtropical breeding grounds to colder waters at higher latitudes. The species is one of the deepest diving animals in the cetacean family, known to plummet as far as 3,280 feet (1,000 meters) in search of squid, its favorite food. The beached whales were all young males between the ages of 10 and 15, and the necropsies revealed that they died of heart failure.”

According to Danny Groves, a spokesperson for the nonprofit Whale and Dolphin Conservation (WDC):

“It is thought that the sperm whales may have got lost and entered the North Sea (possibly chasing squid), where the sea floor is not deep enough, causing the whales to become disorientated and die.”

It is founded that the pollution in their stomach is horrible and saddening. As people throw plastic on and, 80% of them end up in the oceans and most of the time they are consumed by swirls and wildlife. Despite ocean pollution, the whales face threats from ship collisions, and fishing nets as well even though the end of widespread commercial whaling helped the global increase of their population.

Publisher’s Note: 

The above article was initially published with a headline: “Two Whales Found Dead In Germany, Stomachs Full Of Plastic And Car Parts”.

But, the article contained certain inaccuracies, in terms of the number of whales, the amount of plastic found in them, their location, and the cause of their death.

So, we corrected to clarify the content of the article and eliminated some data. Here is the new, updated version, which only contains reliable information.

sources used: news.nationalgeographic.com

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