Yet another whale has been found with plastic in its stomach, continuing a scary trend that is the result of a huge pollution problem.
Earlier this month fisherman found a beached sei whale on the banks of the Sarang Buaya River in Malaysia. The whale died shortly after being discovered and a necropsy found not only plastic garbage, but parasites in its stomach and intestines. Mud was also found in its respiratory track, which could account of the harsh breathing some of the local fisherman reported hearing:
“Before its death, I was stunned by its loud groans and tears, as if it knew it would die soon.” -Eye-witness Mohd Johari Hamdan.
— AustraliaforDolphins (@Aus4Dolphins) February 16, 2016
Munir Mohd Nawi, Director of Johor Fisheries Department, said that further tests are being done to assess the exact cause of death. Tegan A.L. Mortimer told EcoWatch that “The impacts of plastic pollution on these animals isn’t well understood but we do know, from examples like this, that these animals are interacting with our plastic trash.” Hopefully the tests on the whale will bring some more clarity to this.
The same whale was spotted a few days earlier 90 miles away, but was returned by rescuers into deeper waters.
A Sei whale that stranded in Malaysia and was rescued and returned to deep water did not survive.....its body was... https://t.co/w2U01CiqsJ
— Daniella Rooslund (@oceansoffreedom) February 11, 2016
Sei whales are an endangered species, mostly due to being a major target for commercial whaling. They are in so much danger from being hunted, poisoned by plastic pollution, and being entangled in fishing nets it’s no wonder there are only 12,000 left on the planet.