Another Whale Shark Dies Due To Plastic Bag

Sabah Wildlife Rescue Unit staff investigate whale shark death. Credit: Sabah Wildlife Department

In yet another example of how devastating plastic is to the oceans environment, a juvenile whale shark has been found washed ashore on Tanjun Aru Beach in Menumbuk, Kuala Penyu, Malaysia with the cause of the death discovered to be from the whale ingesting a plastic bag.

Sabah Wildlife Department’s Rescue Unity manager Sen Nathan explained to Malay Mail that the bag was discovered during a post-mortem on the whale shark.

“When a post-mortem was done, we were shocked to find a large plastic bag measuring 46cm in height by 32cm in width that was causing a physical obstruction in its gastrointestinal tract. It was evident that the cause of death was due to intestinal obstruction leading to starvation and death,” explained Nathan.

“Plastic pollution in our oceans is a very serious threat to marine wildlife and this should be a grave reminder to us that disposing of plastic correctly or even better, not using plastic bags and other plastic paraphernalia at all, would be the best solution to protecting our ocean’s inhabitants,” said Sabah Wildlife Department director Augustine Tuuga.

As we continue to see more deaths caused by plastic pollution, please use examples such as these to help motivate those around you in helping to reduce single-use plastics including bags. With so many alternatives, there should be no reason we should be continuing to pollute the seas and the rest of the planet at such a high rate.

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