A whale was found with 40kg (88 pounds) of plastic in its stomach in the Philippines on Saturday, highlighting a stomach-churning effect of plastic pollution in the archipelago nation.
The Cuvier’s beaked whale was found emaciated and dehydrated in the shores near Cadunan, about 40km from Davao City, in the southern Philippine island of Mindanao.
“It had been vomiting blood before it died,” Darrell Blatchley, a marine biologist and the curator of a local natural history museum, said in a statement to Reuters.
Video of the necropsy showed sheets after bloody sheets of plastic pulled out of the whale‘s stomach. “I was not prepared for the amount of plastic,” Blatchley added.
Five Asian countries — China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Thailand — account for up to 60 per cent of plastic pollution in the world’s oceans, according to a 2015 Ocean Conservancy report.
Blatchley said that he recovered 61 whales from the seas surrounding the Philippines in the last ten years — 57 of which had died because of discarded fishing nets, dynamite fishing, or plastic garbage. “This cannot continue,” he added. “The Philippines needs to change or nothing will be left.”