Dead whales found with 88 lbs. of plastic in stomach

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Marine biologist Darrell Blatchley was called to recover the 4.7m (15.4ft) Cuvier's beaked whale, which was trapped in the shores of the Mabini Compostela Valley.

When the necropsy was performed, Blatchley told NPR, he was not prepared for the amount of plastic they found in the whale's stomach. In its most recent update about the deceased animal, the museum revealed the whale's cause of death: the ingestion of approximately 88lbs of plastic. Recovered from inside the beaked whale were 16 rice sacks, four plastic bags used in banana plantations, multiple shopping bags, and hundreds of other small pieces of plastic packaging.

He noted that among the plastic bags were 16 rice sacks - similar to potato sacks - and plastic bags from local Philippine grocery chains, Gaisano Capital and Gaisano Grocery Outlet.

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"It was showing signs of being emaciated" as well as being dehydrated, Blatchley said. Darrel said: "This whale had the most plastic we have ever seen in a whale. It's disgusting", the museum said.

"The plastic in some areas was so compact it was nearly becoming calcified, nearly like a solid brick", said Mr. Blatchley, who has seen other marine mammal post-mortems.

The Philippines has become the world's third largest source of releasing plastic rubbish into the ocean, and has one of the highest waste collection rates in Southeast Asia.

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That sort of pollution, which is also widespread in other South-east Asian nations, regularly kills wildlife like whales and turtles that ingest the waste.

He said the full list of plastic materials will be itemized in the coming days. "At some point their stomach fills up with trash and they can't eat real food", Regina Asmutis-Silvia, the executive director of Whale and Dolphin Conservation, told National Geographic.

Around 8.8 million tons (8 million metric tons) of plastic get dumped into the ocean every year, according to a 2015 report by the nonprofit Ocean Conservancy. In June past year, a whale died in Thailand after 8 kg of plastic was found in its stomach, clogging up its internal system and restricting its movement.

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