Published: Tue, June 05, 2018
Science | By Joan Schultz

Sick whale with dozens of plastic bags in stomach dies

For almost a week, veterinarians tried to nurse it back to health, but four days later, it died.

Devastating pictures showing the impact of discarded plastic bags on marine life have emerged, after a pilot whale died having swallowing 80.

An autopsy revealed dozens of plastic bags jamming the whale's stomach, weighing 17 pounds in all, the agency wrote on Facebook. The pollution is increasing day by day and among the water, air and soil we are facing another major hazard of plastic pollution.

Volunteers and veterinarians in Thailand were unable to save the whale.

Thailand is one of the world's largest consumers of plastic bags for which hundreds of marine creatures living near the country's popular beaches die every year.

Talking to the AFP, Thon said "If you have 80 plastic bags in your stomach, you die". The whale reportedly vomited up five bags during the rescue attempt.

The Thai media reported that the male whale was found washed ashore in the southern province of Songkhla on Monday of last week.

Thais use huge numbers of plastic bags, but authorities have launched campaigns to try to encourage people to use fewer and to introduce reusable bags.

Dr. Thon said he was urging the Thai government to do the same.

Jatuporn Buruspat, who leads the Marine and Coastal Resources Department, told reporters that the whale likely thought the floating trash was food.

"We can't help her", he said of the whale.

Countries including the United Kingdom and India are banning straws and single-use bags, and forcing supermarkets to impose levies on plastic bags.

Greenpeace's Tara urged the government to quickly enact regulations.

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