Stomach of Dead Sperm Whale Contained 115 Plastic Cups
A dead sperm whale washed ashore on Kapota Island in the Wakatobi National Park of Southeast Sulawesi was found with more than 1,000 pieces of plastic in its stomach, according to WWF Indonesia.
The whale was in an advanced state of decay when it was found and it is not yet known if the plastic the animal had ingested was the cause of death. The Wakatobi Marine and Fisheries Community Academy, supported by a team from the Wakatobi Marine and Fisheries Office, the Wakatobi National Park, and WWF Indonesia, has begun an investigation.
The discovery serves as yet another reminder of how plastic pollution threatens the world's marine life. A similar incident occurred in February this year after the carcass of a sperm whale washed ashore in Murcia, Spain. Autopsy reports concluded that the 29kg of plastic ingested by the whale was the primary cause of death. In July, a pilot whale found in Thailand died while rescuers attempted to save the animal from the 8kg of plastic bags that it had consumed.
It is estimated that around 150 million tonnes of plastic are currently circulating through the world's oceans, with an additional eight million tonnes being added every year. Scientists estimate that without immediate curbs on plastic pollution, by 2050 there may be more plastic by mass than fish in the oceans.