A pregnant sperm whale washed up on an Italian coast with around 22kg of plastic in its stomach last week. The eight-metre mammal was found dead on a beach in Sardinian tourist spot of Porto Cervo with a foetus in its belly. The incident has once again brought kickstarted conversation on the effects of plastic waste in the Mediterranean Sea that harms marine life. Incidents of whale beaching have been on the rise in the recent past. Most whales are found with tonnes of plastic waste in their stomach which mostly lead to their death.
Sergio Costa, Italy's environment minister took to Facebook highlighting the issue of whale beaching and how people think it is a light issue. His post reads, "Are there still people who say these are not important problems? For me they are, and they are priorities. We've used the 'comfort' of disposable objects in a lighthearted way in the past years and now we are paying the consequences. Indeed the animals, above all, are the ones paying them." Dead Whale in Philippines Had 40kg of Plastic Trash in Stomach, Activists Calls It ‘Worst Case of Poisoning’.
Dead whale that washed ashore:
Another dead whale has been found full of plastic ☹️
This pregnant sperm whale washed up in Sardinia (Italy) with 22kg of plastic filling her stomach. It's thought she aborted her baby before she beached, as the foetus was already extremely decomposedhttps://t.co/3oDG9n6jJc pic.twitter.com/X89hTHE9s0
— ActionforDolphins (@Act_4Dolphins) April 1, 2019
The incident prompted the World Wildlife Foundation (WWF) to yet again highlight the issue of plastic washed into ocean waters. Experts at the international NGO said that contents in the whale's stomach included corrugated tubes, plastic plates, shopping bags, fishing lines, and even a washing detergent package. World Wildlife Foundation tweeted saying, "A pregnant whale carcass washed ashore in Italy with 22kg of plastic in its stomach. This is the 4th reported incident since November. We must act now to protect our precious marine life." Dead Sperm Whale With 6kg Plastic Waste Inside Stomach Including Cups, Flip-Flops & Bottles Found in Indonesia’s Wakatobi National Park (See Pics)
Here is the tweet:
A pregnant whale carcass washed ashore in Italy with 22kg of plastic in its stomach.
— WWF 🐼 (@WWF) April 1, 2019
Check out the video below:
Luca Bittau, president of the Italian environmental group SeaMe group, told CNN that the carcass of the beached mammal contained "garbage bags ... fishing nets, lines, tubes, the bag of a washing machine liquid still identifiable, with brand and barcode ... and other objects no longer identifiable." He added, "She was pregnant and had almost certainly aborted before (she) beached. The fetus was in an advanced state of composition." According to the World Wildlife Foundation, between 150,000 and 500,000 tons of plastic objects and 70,000 to 130,000 tons of micro-plastics end up in the seas of Europe every year. To deal with the issue, the European Parliament approved a new law banning single-use plastic products from 2021.