A Philippines museum says that this past Saturday they found 88 pounds of plastic inside the stomach of a dead beaked whale. The 15-foot long creature was discovered off the coast of the country's Mabini, Compostela Valley:
"I was not prepared for the amount of plastic," said president and founder of the D' Bone Collector Museum in Davao City, Darrell Blatchley, to NBC. His non-governmental organization locates dead animals for the purpose of preserving them for educational purposes. The museum added that the amount of trash consumed by the whale, which included 16 rice sacks, four banana plantation bags, and a number of shopping bags, was the most they'd ever found in one of the animals. "It was so bad the plastic was beginning calcification," Blatchley said.
An autopsy concluded that the whale's death was probably caused by emaciation and dehydration, with its ability to eat and drink impeded by the plastic. Blatchley added that it was vomiting blood prior to dying
Pictures of the whale have gone viral since its death, with a number of people calling for an end to the usage of single-use plastic. It's estimated that 8.8 million tons of plastic are dumped into oceans every year.
Blatchley notes that this issue is particularly bad in the Philippines, and says that his group has recovered 57 dead whales and dolphins over the past decade, most of whom have died from ingesting plastic.