Another whale has fallen victim to human garbage. This time researchers found the whale beached on the shore with at least 30 plastic bags and other items wedged inside its stomach that had prevented it from eating. Plastic pollution in the ocean causes the death of more than 100,000 marine animals and one million seabirds every year, according to the United Nations. If there was ever a reason to stop the use of plastic bags, this is surely it.
Other human garbage killing marine mammals:
Whales and other marine mammals are often found to have ingested man-made items. Thirteen sperm whales beached themselves on Germany’s North Sea coast in 2016 and at least four of them were found to have plastic in their stomachs. Among the items researchers discovered were a 43-foot shrimp fishing net, a car engine cover and a plastic bucket. A number of pilot whales that beached off the coast of Scotland in 2013 showed elevated levels of toxins from pollutants, which researchers believed caused the disorientation that led to the beaching.