Categories: Science

More than 330 pounds of GARBAGE is found in the stomach of whale that died in Nova Scotia

A sperm whale died a “slow and painful” death off the coast of Nova Scotia earlier this month after ingesting 330 pounds of compacted trash in its stomach.

The 45-foot-long male appeared emaciated when it came ashore on November 4, and although crews worked to save the whale, it died the next day.

The Canadian Wildlife Health Cooperative conducted an autopsy shortly thereafter and found fishing nets, rope, gloves, and various plastic items.

The Marine Animal Response Society (MARS) recently shared the incident, saying the whale’s death is a “stark reminder” of just how serious the problem is of human trash littering Earth’s oceans.

The 45-foot-long sperm whale was discovered alive off the shores of Novia Scotia. Wildlife officials said the whale was emaciated and appeared ill, leading them to suspect it was not dying of natural causes.

The average adult sperm whale weighs between 35 and 45 tons, but this adult male weighed no more than 30 tons because litter hampered his ability to eat.

Tonya Wimmer with MARS said CTV News: ‘Seeing the sperm whale so close to shore and so thin are really worrying signs.’

The whale was found on a rocky shoreline at Craigmore, near Judique in Cape Breton.

“We found some equipment, and then it just went on and on. We realized that the full scope of what we saw was horrific,” Wimmer said.

Sperm whales eat like vacuum cleaners: they open their mouths and let everything around them flow in, making them more likely to ingest debris in the water and on the seafloor.

Wimmer said that because of how sperm whales feed, it’s common to find plastic in their stomachs, but the compacted mass in the male is more than she’s witnessed in the past.

After the whale died, the team performed an autopsy in which they found a massive 330-pound pile of rubbish compacted in its stomach that hampered its ability to consume food, leading it to starve to death.

The whale weighed about 30 tons when the teams found it. The average adult sperm whale weighs between 35 and 45 tons. In the photo, the team that performs an autopsy on the whale.

This huge amount of garbage prevented the animal from consuming food, causing it to starve.

“It would have been incredibly horrifying and traumatic for this animal to slowly die,” Wimmer said.

The male is just one of many sperm whales found with plastic rubbish in its stomach.

Another sperm whale came ashore in Northumberland in 2019 and a post-mortem examination revealed plastic inside its stomach.

Then there was one in 2018, which washed ashore in eastern Indonesia and had a 13-pound bundle of plastic waste in its stomach.

Rescuers found the decomposing carcass of the 31-foot male sperm whale near the waters of Kapota in the southeastern province of Sulawesi, according to Wakatobi National Park chief Heri Santoso.

The debris in his stomach included 115 plastic cups, four plastic bottles, 25 plastic bags, two flip-flops, a nylon bag, and more than 1,000 plastic pieces.

The cause of death was unknown, and the corpse was to be buried soon after without an autopsy due to its state of decomposition.

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Then, in 2018, a whale came ashore in eastern Indonesia (pictured) and had a 13-pound bulge of plastic in its stomach.

The debris in her stomach included 115 plastic cups, four plastic bottles, 25 plastic bags, two flip-flops, a nylon sack, and more than 1,000 other pieces of plastic.

A more recent study, published earlier this month, announced that baleen whales (blue, humpback, and fin whales) eat up to 10 million pieces of microplastic every day.

Blue whales eat the most, feeding almost exclusively on shrimp-like animals called krill.

“They are further down the food chain than you would expect given their enormous size, which puts them closer to where the plastic is in the water,” said study co-author Dr. Matthew Savoca.

“There is only one link: the krill eats the plastic, and then the whale eats the krill.”

Baleen whales are thought to be at exceptionally high risk of ingesting microplastics.

This is due to their filter-feeding behaviors, the large volumes of prey they eat, and the fact that they typically live in polluted regions, such as the California Current.

However, data on their daily plastic consumption is lacking and limits our understanding of its risk, health effects, and how impacts might be mitigated.

“Large filter feeders such as baleen whales evolved to process and filter large amounts of ocean, so they represent sentinels of environmental change, including pollution such as microplastics,” said study lead author Jeremy Goldbogen.


Plastic pollution is a scourge that is ravaging the surface of our planet. Now, the polluting polymer is sinking to the bottom of the ocean.

The deepest part of the ocean is in the Mariana Trench, located in the western Pacific Ocean, east of the Mariana Islands. It extends nearly 36,100 feet (11,000 meters) below the surface.

A plastic bag was found 35,754 feet (10,898 meters) below the surface in this region, the deepest known piece of man-made pollution in the world. This piece of single-use plastic was found deeper than 33 Eiffel Towers, placed end to end.

While plastic pollution is sinking fast, it’s also spreading further into the middle of the oceans. A piece of plastic was found more than 620 miles (1,000 km) from the nearest coast, beyond the length of France.

The Japan Agency for Earth and Marine Sciences and Technologies (Jamstec) Global Oceanographic Data Center (Godac) opened for public use in March 2017.

In this database are the data of 5,010 different dives. From all these different dives, 3,425 items of man-made debris were counted.

More than 33% of the waste was macroplastics, followed by metal (26%), rubber (1.8%), fishing tackle (1.7%), glass (1.4%), cloth/paper/wood ( 1.3%). percent) and ‘other’ anthropogenic items (35 percent).

It was also found that of all the waste found, 89 percent was designed for single use. This is defined as plastic bags, bottles and packages. The deeper the study looked, the greater the amount of plastic they found.

Of all man-made items found above 20,000 feet (6,000 meters), the proportions rose to 52 percent for macroplastic and 92 percent for single-use plastic.

The direct damage this caused to the ecosystem and environment is evident, as deep-sea organisms were observed in 17 percent of the plastic debris images taken by the study.


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