December 18, 2018

Whale dies after swallowing 80 plastic bags in southern Thailand

05 June 2018, 06:19 | Edward Lowe

Whale dies after swallowing 80 plastic bags in southern Thailand

Volunteers attempt to rescue the male pilot whale and nurse it back to health

Thailand's Department of Marine and Coastal Resources says the small male pilot whale was found last week.

A whale with 17 pounds of plastic in its stomach has died in Thailand after veterinarians and volunteers worked for five days to save it.

The animal vomited five plastic bags on Friday before dying.

Eighty plastic bags were found in the stomach of a pilot whale which died in southern Thailand.

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Thailand's Marine and Coastal Resources Department has released graphic images from the post mortem to highlight the need to reduce plastic pollution, especially in the countdown to World Oceans Day on June 8.

An autopsy revealed plastic bags weighing eight kilograms inside the whale's stomach.

The Thai government last month said it was considering a levy on disposable plastic shopping bags.

"It's a huge problem", Thon Thamrongnawasawat, a marine biologist and lecturer at Kasetsart University, said.

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Devastating pictures showing the impact of discarded plastic bags on marine life have emerged, after a pilot whale died having swallowing 80. Of that, almost 270,000 tons of large and small plastic debris are on the surface.

It was unclear whether the whale was a short-finned or long-finned pilot whale, although short-finned pilots commonly traverse the warmer waters typical of Southeast Asia.

"Because he's a whale he can travel around the world". More than 60 pounds of trash clogged its digestive system.

The report from the UK Government Office for Science found that 70% of marine litter is non-degradable plastic.

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