Vet Releases Confronting Pictures Of Dolphin And Seal Wrapped In Disused Fishing Nets
It seems like every week we're confronted with a story about a sea creature dying because of plastic in the ocean.
Well, sadly it seems like this month is no different as a British marine veterinarian has released photos of a dolphin and seal that died after becoming wrapped up in disused fishing nets.
James Barnett discovered the dolphin in 2017 after it washed ashore in Cornwall, however he's decided to release the images now to raise awareness about the issue of plastic in our oceans.
"We don't know how big a problem microplastic is yet. Microplastics is a totally unknown quantity," he said.
"We are not yet able to determine how badly it is impacting the animals' health. I think it is something further studies over the coming years will be able to say."
Microplastics have been widely documented, with many researchers revealing that plastic breaks down into tiny particles, which are then sucked up through the food chain and has been present in some of the seafood that humans eat.
The seal was found in May this year entangled in up to 35kgs of nets.
"It's definitely the worst case of animal entanglement I have seen in my career," said Mr Barnett.
"We have not found much evidence of plastic in seals. The biggest killers are probably bycatch and entanglement.
"Seals are very curious animals and they will investigate nets floating in the water or attached to the seabed and can get entangled in them."
This issue has been seen across all corners of the planet, with some shocking and disgusting examples of how our sea creatures are suffering due to plastic pollution.
The Cuvier's beaked whale was found dead in the Compostela Valley earlier in March.
An autopsy was carried out by staff from Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Fishery Management Regulatory Division, led by marine biologist Darrell Blatchley, who owns D'Bone Collector Museum, and Dr Elaine Belvis.
Blatchley told CNN its cause of death was dehydration and starvation due to swallowing so much plastic. He said it 'had the most plastic we have ever seen in a whale'.
"I was not prepared for the amount of plastic," he told the news outlet.
Grim images from the animal's autopsy show piles of plastic being taken from its stomach. Blatchley said that the team had to sift through the rubbish pulled from the whale's insides to get a full list of the items that clogged up its stomach.
Featured Image Credit: SWNS