Sperm Whale Found Dead In Spain Ingested 29 Kilos Of Plastic

Authorities say that a sperm whale washed up on the Southern coast of Spain died as a result of ingesting 29 kilos (64 lb) of plastic waste.

The young male was killed by gastric shock and an autopsy revealed his stomach and intestines to contain rubbish such as plastic bags, raffia sacks, pieces of nets and ropes and even a plastic jerry can.

The whale, which measured almost 10 metres (33 feet) in length and weighed more than six tonnes, was found dead on a beach in Cabo de Palos, Murcia, at the end of February.

Credit: Murcia Regional Government
Credit: Murcia Regional Government

The shockingly discovery of the mammal's cause of death has prompted the region's government to launch a campaign to fight against the dumping of plastic waste in the ocean.

Consuelo Rosauro, the director-general for the natural environment in the Murcian government, said that pollution from plastic waste had become one of the biggest threats to global marine life in the last decade.

"Many animals get trapped in the rubbish or ingest great quantities of plastic which end up causing their death," she said.

"The presence of plastics in seas and oceans is one of the greatest threats to the conservation of wildlife throughout the world, since many animals are trapped in the trash or ingest large amounts of plastics that end up causing their death."

She added: "The region of Murcia is no stranger to this problem, which we must tackle through clean-up actions and, above all, citizen awareness."

The growing problem of plastic pollution is nothing new, but as the issue reaches breaking point, officials are being forced to look at what can be done to tackle it effectively.

Speaking in Paris after attending a climate change summit in December, Theresa May said greater amounts of overseas aid money should be used to save marine life.

"We've all been very concerned by the pictures we've seen in recent months of the impact of pollution on marine life, the impact of plastic pollution," she said.

"Of course the UK Government has already taken steps in relation to plastic - a charge on carrier bags, a ban on microbeads. But we are looking at what more we can do. That's not just the Environment Secretary but the International Development Secretary.

Kevin Krejci/Creative Commons
Kevin Krejci/Creative Commons

"To see how we can use overseas aid money to ensure we're doing what I think everybody wants, which is reducing this terrible pollution that is taking place and affecting marine life so devastatingly."

Meanwhile, LADbible's Trash Isles campaign has welcomed a wide range of celebrity ambassadors to raise awareness and join the fight against plastic waste in the planet's oceans.

Chris Hemsworth, Al Gore, Gal Gadot, Mark Ruffalo, Brandon Flowers, Sir Mo Farah, Jeff Goldblum, Lethal Bizzle, Ezra Miller, Andy Serkis, Jason Momoa, Gerard Butler and Dame Judi Dench have now joined the 200,000 other Trash Isles citizens committed to solving the crisis taking place in our oceans.

Want to get involved? Show your support by signing the petition here.

Featured Image Credit: Murcia Regional Government

Paddy Maddison

Paddy Maddison is a freelance journalist and frequent contributor to LADbible. He specialises in men's lifestyle, music and news, which has seen him work with publications including ShortList, FashionBeans, Menswear Style and many industry-leading brands. Contact him at [email protected]

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