Stranded whale dies with a stomach full of plastic

Whale found last week, credit: The Scottish Marine Animal Stranding Scheme
Whale found last week, credit: The Scottish Marine Animal Stranding Scheme

Plastic cups, parts of fishing nets, bundles of rope, bags, gloves and packing straps were found in the stomach of a male whale that stranded and died on Luskentyre beach in Scotland over the weekend. There was over 100 kilogram of rubbish in his body.

The Scottish Marine Animal Stranding Scheme (SMASS) found the whale. On their Facebook page, they wrote: “By the time we got to it had been dead for 48 hours and pretty much most of the guts blew out of the side when we stuck a knife in it.”

Video: Scottish Marine Animal Stranding Scheme (SMASS)

They think the dirt had been in his stomach for quite some time: “This amount of plastic in the stomach is horrific, must have compromised digestion, and serves to demonstrate, yet again, the hazards that marine litter and lost or discarded fishing gear can cause to marine life.”

The whale could have swallowed the debris in his stomach at any point between Norway and the Azores. SMASS is looking in more detail to see if they can work out why this animal ended up with so much plastic in his stomach.

In Scotland, whale and dolphin strandings are on the increase; 204 reports in 2009, rising to more than 930 in 2018.

Previous articleMass slaughter in Nepal: thousands of animals killed in two days
Next articleUnicorn puppy will stay with Missouri rescue center