Huge amount of plastic found inside dead pregnant whale

Focus Taiwan
Date: 2019/03/20
By: Lu Tai-chen and William Ye

Research personnel examine plastic and trash found in the stomach of a dead whale beached in Hualien, eastern Taiwan / Photo courtesy of the Ocean Conversation Administration

Taipei, March 20 (CNA) An autopsy on a whale that was found dead on a beach in Hualien last Friday revealed a large amount of plastic in its stomach and it was also found to be pregnant, two ocean conservation organizations said Wednesday.

The Cuvier’s beaked whale had in its stomach six plastic bags, four canvas bags, one sheet of hard plastic, two fishing lines, and numerous wads and fragments of plastic, according to the Ocean Conversation Administration (OCA) and Taiwan Cetacean Society, which conducted the autopsy.

A Cuvier’s beaked whale found on a beach in Hualien, eastern Taiwan / Photo courtesy of Photo courtesy of the Ocean Conversation Administration

However, it was still uncertain whether the ingestion of plastic was the direct cause of the whale’s death, said Ko Yung-chuan (柯勇全) of the OCA.

He said the remains of a squid were found in the whale’s stomach, which indicated that the whale was still able to feed, therefore, until further tests could be done, the cause of death could not be determined.    [FULL  STORY]

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