Monday 16 December 2019
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businessinsider - 13 days ago

A sperm whale that died on a Scottish beach had 220 pounds of trash in its stomach

Editor s Note: Some of the images in this story are graphic. A juvenile sperm whale weighting 22 tons washed up on the Isle of Harris in Scotland on Thanksgiving. While performing a necropsy, whale experts found more than 200 pounds of trash in the animal s stomach. The Scotland Marine Animal Stranding Scheme wrote on its Facebook page that the discovery was a shameful example of how litter is harming marine life. Visit Insider s homepage for more stories. A 22-ton sperm whale that died after being stranded on a beach on the Scottish Isle of Harris last week was found with more than 200 pounds of trash in its stomach. The Scottish Marine Animal Strandings Scheme, a government organization, wrote on its Facebook page that the juvenile male stranded on Luskentyre beach last Thursday and died. We first saw the story from Good Morning America. A necropsy was performed a couple of days later, and experts found 220 pounds of trash in its stomach, including sections of net, bundles of rope, plastic cups, bags, packing straps and tubing. SMASS called the discovery shameful. SMASS wrote that the trash was in a huge ball in the stomach and some of it looked like it had been there for some time. They also said the animal wasn t in particularly poor condition and they couldn t find evidence that the trash played a role in its stranding, though its certainly plausible. This amount of plastic in the stomach is nonetheless 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. It is also perhaps a good example that this is a global issue caused by a whole host of human activities. This whale had debris in its stomach which seemed to have originated from both the land and fishing sectors, and could have been swallowed at any point between Norway and the Azores, SMASS said. The group said it s trying to figure out how so much trash ended up in the whale s stomach. After the necropsy, the whale was buried nearby since it was too heavy to move across the beach s fragile dune ecosystems. It follows a similar incident that happened back in March, when a whale washed up dead in the Philippines with 88 pounds of trash in its stomach, including 16 rice sacks, 4 banana bags, and multiple shopping bags. Read more: A desperately thin whale washed up dead on a beach with 29 kg of human trash in its stomach A whale washed up dead in the Philippines with almost 100 pounds worth of trash in its stomach, including plastic shopping bags and rice sacks Scientists hauled up the carcass of a giant blue whale who died in 2015 and are trying to reassemble it and put it on display Deep-sea explorers discovered creatures at the bottom of the ocean feasting on decaying whales Join the conversation about this story NOW WATCH: Taylor Swift is the world s highest-paid celebrity. Here s how she makes and spends her $360 million.


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