A sperm whale was found dead in Indonesia and the revelations are shocking. It was found that the whale that washed ashore had
- 114 drinking cups
- 25 Plastic bags
- Plastic bottles
- Two flip-flops
- And a bag which included more than 1000 pieces of strings
Plastic consumption well & truly killed this whale from the inside. The total amount of plastic trash that was found in the whale’s stomach roughly weighed around six kilograms (13.2 pounds). As per the news reports, the whale was about 9.5-meters in length found in the shallow waters near Wakatobi National Park in Indonesia. Environmentalists and others all around the world have been shocked by this news and for good reason. This is what we are giving back to marine animals – Plastic that causes death.
The sperm whales have been listed as endangered species under the Endangered Species Act and considered depleted as per the Marine Mammal Protection Act. They mostly feed upon giant squids, fish, shrimps, small sharks and even octopus. So, finding a large pile of plastic in its stomach is not a good sign for the planet. Whatever efforts we have made so far are not bringing results as marine life is getting destroyed due to plastic.
Indonesia is the world’s second-worst polluters of Plastic trash only behind China to the oceans. As per 2015 reports, it is recorded that 192 coastal countries add a total of 8.5 million tons of plastic waste annually to the world’s oceans. Also, this year China stopped purchasing plastic waste from the world. This meant that the world has to shift to countries in Southeast Asia for its plastic waste crisis.
The Indonesian Minister Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan told the media that such discoveries would help spread awareness concerning the abuse of plastic material. We are wasting tons of plastic each day without realizing how harmful it can be to our society. With more & more people waking up to this shaking news the need to reduce its use will certainly increase. He explained that the Indonesian Government is looking forward to cutting down the use of plastic products by 70% by 2025. For this, the Government has:
- Urged shopkeepers to stop providing plastic bags to the customers
- Started an educational program to educate school children about plastic waste issues
These are few of the many steps that both Government, Ministers and even local authorities are taking to curb the use of plastic material. Slowly but surely we are taking small steps to fight against plastic pollution. News like this is surely sad but at least people are getting aware of how marine animals are suffering from plastic contamination. Also, plastic waste has entered the food chain and is now deemed dangerous for even humans.
This is the source of news https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/2018/11/dead-sperm-whale-filled-with-plastic-trash-indonesia/
Few more incidents around the world
- And this isn’t the first time a marine animal was found dead with plastic waste in its belly. In the month of June this year, a pilot whale was found near Malaysian borders dying due to plastic waste. A team of rescuers worked for five consecutive days to save the mammal but they failed and the whale died spitting out five pieces of plastic bags. Afterwards, it was found that the pilot whale had consumed another 80 pieces of plastic bags and other plastic trash. This meant that the total weight of plastic trash in whale’s stomach weighed around 8 kilograms (17 Pounds).
- 8-12 months old Harp seal was found dead on the island of Skye with plastic debris inside its stomach. It was a small, crucially placed square of plastic that the veterinary pathologist Andrew Brownlow pulled out of the stomach. Brownlow said that “Plastic ingestion in cetaceans and seals is really rare” because these are more intelligent animals known to distinguish between plastic & prey. So, an incident like this is a sign of worry for all of us. It shows how even the smartest of marine animals are falling prey to such deadly epidemic. For a full news coverage go to https://news.nationalgeographic.com/2018/05/seal-plastic-death-climate-change-animals/
Our small steps can make a BIG difference
- Step 1 – Avoid using those plastic bags as a carrier at a grocery store
- Step 2 – Say No to Plastic Straws. These tiny pieces of single-use plastic would kill us all
- Step 3 – Provide safe disposals for your plastic products. Get help from local authorities!
- Step 4 – Stop the throwaway culture which has added tons of plastic litter into the oceans every year
- Step 5 – Search for Greener alternatives to the plastic products and switch to them.
- Step 6 – Urge people to stop using plastic and spread the awareness all around.
By doing our bit for the environment we might be able to save these poor animals from choking to plastic death.