For the third time in as many years, we are saddened to announce that another whale has been found dead with a stomach full of things other than fish. In November, the 31-foot sperm whale washed up on a beach in Indonesia with 13 pounds of plastic waste in its stomach, including “115 plastic cups, 25 plastic bags, and 2 flip-flops.”
According to Dwi Suprapti, a marine species conservation coordinator at WWF Indonesia, researchers are unable to determine if the plastic caused the whale’s death.
5,9 kg sampah plastik ditemukan di dlm perut paus malang ini! Sampah plastik yaitu: plastik keras (19 pcs, 140 gr), botol plastik (4 pcs, 150 gr), kantong plastik (25 pcs, 260 gr), sandal jepit (2 pcs, 270 gr), didominasi o/ tali rafia (3,26 kg) & gelas plastik (115 pcs, 750 gr). pic.twitter.com/ZFWZgkbnzu
— WWF-Indonesia (@WWF_ID) November 19, 2018
“The whale’s discovery comes amid heightened global concern about plastic pollution and its effects on marine life. Earlier this year, a pilot whale with 17 pounds of plastic in its stomach died in Thailand after a five-day rescue effort.”1
Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, an Indonesian official in charge of maritime affairs, said, “It is possible that many other marine animals are also contaminated with plastic waste and this is very dangerous for our lives. This big ambition can be achieved if people learn to understand that plastic waste is a common enemy.”2 His country’s government is now working to cut down on plastic use by 70 percent over the next 7 years.