Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Whale Found With 30+ Plastic Bags in Its Stomach

Popular
Whale Found With 30+ Plastic Bags in Its Stomach

Norwegian zoologists have discovered some 30 plastic bags and other marine debris inside the stomach of a malnourished 20-foot Cuvier's beaked whale.

The whale was an adult male that weighed about 2 tons. Local authorities were forced to euthanize the distressed animal on Jan. 28 after repeatedly stranding itself off the shallow waters of Sotra, an island near Norway's southwestern coast.


After it was put down, University of Bergen researchers analyzed the whale's stomach and determined that the various non-biodegradable objects were likely the cause of death.

"Our whale was emaciated; little fat and low weight. But its stomach was full of plastic, which likely killed it," University of Bergen associate professor Hanneke Meijer tweeted.

According to NRK, large quantities of small plastic as well as candy wrappers and plastic bread bags were found in addition to the 30 plastic bags. The items had packaging and labels in Danish and English.

University of Bergen associate professor Terje Lislevand told the Associated Press that the whale's intestine "had no food, only some remnants of a squid's head in addition to a thin fat layer."

Lislevand also told Norwegian publication Bergens Tidende that the whale was likely in pain due to its clogged stomach.

"The plastic was like a big ball in the stomach and filled it almost completely," he said.

The whale might have mistakenly ingested the plastic bags thinking it was squid, its preferred source of food.

Lislevand remarked that the animal was one of the first Cuvier's beaked whales to be spotted near Norway.

EcoWatch has documented many instances of whales suffering and even dying because of plastic waste. But ocean plastic is not just a problem for whales. Fish, seabirds, turtles and many other marine creatures are choking from the 8 million metric tons of plastic garbage that enters our oceans every year.

Unfortunately, if consumers do not reduce their use of plastic and plastic-intensive goods, the problem will only get worse. A widely reported study found that there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean by 2050 if the world continues to consume and dump this form of non-biodegradable waste at current rates.

A wild mink in Utah was the first wild animal in the U.S. found with COVID-19. Peter Trimming via Wikipedia, CC BY-SA

By Jonathan Runstadler and Kaitlin Sawatzki

Over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, researchers have found coronavirus infections in pet cats and dogs and in multiple zoo animals, including big cats and gorillas. These infections have even happened when staff were using personal protective equipment.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

A mass methane release could begin an irreversible path to full land-ice melt. NurPhoto / Contributor / Getty Images

By Peter Giger

The speed and scale of the response to COVID-19 by governments, businesses and individuals seems to provide hope that we can react to the climate change crisis in a similarly decisive manner - but history tells us that humans do not react to slow-moving and distant threats.

Read More Show Less

Trending

Doug Emhoff, U.S. Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, Jill Biden and President-elect Joe Biden wave as they arrive on the East Front of the U.S. Capitol for the inauguration on Jan. 20, 2021 in Washington, DC. Joe Raedle / Getty Images

By John R. Platt

The period of the 45th presidency will go down as dark days for the United States — not just for the violent insurgency and impeachment that capped off Donald Trump's four years in office, but for every regressive action that came before.

Read More Show Less
A hazy Seattle skyline due to wildfire smoke is seen on September 11, 2020 in Seattle, Washington. Lindsey Wasson / Getty Images

Washington state residents are taking climate matters into their own hands. Beginning this month, 90 members of the public join the country's first climate assembly to develop pollution solutions, Crosscut reported.

Read More Show Less
Boletus mushrooms such as these are on the menu at ONA restaurant in Arès, France. Jarry / Tripelon / Gamma-Rapho / Getty Images)

For the first time ever, a vegan restaurant in France has been awarded a coveted Michelin star.

Read More Show Less