Web Desk(April 12, 2018): A dead sperm whale that washed up on the shore of a beach in southern Spain had 64 pounds of plastic and waste in its stomach.
The young whale, found on the beach of Cabo de Palos in Murcia, died of an abdominal infection called Peritonitis. The infection was a direct result of the debris stuck in the whale’s stomach and intestines, which plugged the digestive system and caused it to rupture.
Some of the garbage found inside the 33-foot-long whale included ropes, pieces of net, plastic bags, and other toxic debris.
Sperm whales are the largest of the toothed whales (odontocetes) and are currently on the endangered species list.
Plastic in our oceans has increasingly become a major health risk for both people and marine life. A 2018 report found that 70% of marine litter is non-degradable plastic.