Sperm whale washed up in Indonesia had plastic bottles, bags in stomach

21 November, 2018, 15:32 | Author: Kelly Sanders
  • Investigators could not confirm whether the huge amount of rubbish found inside the whale was his cause of death

The professors said this type of plastic consumption is a growing trend among fish and squid-eating whales such as sperm and beaked whales.

The caracas of a sperm whale that washed ashore in Indonesia had almost 13 pounds of plastic waste in its stomach - including 115 plastic cups, four plastic bottles, 25 plastic bags and two flip-flops, the BBC reported Tuesday.

A photo of the materials found inside the whale posted by the WWF shows a teeming mound of garbage, including a tangle of what appears to be string and a broken piece of a plate.

It wasn't possible to determine if the plastic was responsible for the death because of the advanced state of decay.

Wakatobi National Park chief Heri Santoso said the mammal was male and the 13 pounds of trash in its stomach were identified as 115 plastic cups, four plastic bottles, 25 plastic bags, two flip-flops, a nylon sack and more than 1,000 other plastic pieces.

Wakatobi park planned to bury the whale carcass at high tide on Tuesday, and the remains would be used for study purposes by the local marine academy.

"Although we have not been able to deduce the cause of death, the facts that we see are truly very bad", said Dwi Suprapti, marine species conservation coordinator at WWF-Indonesia, in a statement to CNN.

It produces 3.2 million tons of mismanaged plastic waste a year, of which 1.29 million tons ends up in the ocean.

It's hard to know exactly how much is making its way into the ocean, but a 2015 study found that the figure was up to 12.7 million metric tons in 2010 alone.

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

The archipelago of more than 17,000 islands has pledged to reduce marine plastic waste by 70 percent by 2025. The remaining half is either illegally burned or dumped into the country's waters.

"I'm so sad to hear this", said Pandjaitan, who recently has campaigned for less use of plastic.

Pandjaitan also said that the grim find should raise awareness amongst the general population of Indonesia regarding plastic use and waste.

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