Dead Sperm Whale Found With 13 Pounds Of Plastic In Stomach

Credit: WWF Indonesia

The oceans are facing dire threats from multiple sources and it is happening all around the world, day-after-day.

This time, a dead sperm whale has washed ashore on the coast of Indonesia with a stomach full of plastic bottles, plastic bags, flip-flops, fishing ropes, and other plastic trash.

The 31 foot sperm whale was found late in the evening on November 19th in Wakatobi National Park, a marine national park in Southeast Sulawesi, Indonesia. WWF Indonesia headed to the scene with environmental authorities after receiving reports that a group of local people had gathered around the whale carcass and appeared to be butchering its body.

Upon arrival, they discovered 13 pounds of plastic trash in the whale’s digestive tract which included two pairs of plastic flip-flops, four plastic bottles, 25 plastic bags and over 100 plastic cups.

The use of throwaway plastic is a particular problem in some South East Asian countries, including Indonesia.

Five Asian nations- China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Thailand – account for up to 60% of the plastic waste that ends up in oceans, according to a 2015 report by environmental campaigner Ocean Conservancy and the McKinsey Center for Business and Environment.

Plastic is one of the biggest threats to marine wildlife along with climate change, coastal development and pollution.  A recent report found that plastic in the ocean is actually expected to triple by 2025.

Currently, there is already over 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic trash in the world’s ocean and with the current amount expected to triple in such a short time, we need to address the reality of what we have created.

Experts have not yet announced the reasoning for the whales death but the state of the whale and the trash on the inside speak for itself.

“Although we have not been able to deduce the cause of death, the facts that we see are truly awful,” said Dwi Suprapti, a marine species conservation coordinator at WWF Indonesia, according to the Associated Press.

Indonesia is slowly working towards reducing ocean waste as last year, the government announced a $1 billion plan to reduce marine waste by 70 percent within just eight years. Unfortunately, eight years will be eight too many for all too many species.

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