Sacks. Grocery bags. Small and big plastic trash-bags. Forty kilos of all human plastic waste were found in the stomach of a dead whale in Barangay Cadunan of Mabini, Compostela Valley.
The Cuvier's beaked whale found last Friday was subjected by Darrel Blatchley, founder of the D'Bone Collector Museum, to a necropsy which revealed that its belly was filled with over 16 pieces of plastic from rice saks, grocery bags, among other plastic wastes.
The American marine biologist, in his Facebook post, revealed that the 15.4-foot whale died from ingesting several kilos of ocean plastic wastes, which were “the most plastic we have ever seen in a whale.”
He assured that an investigation will take place which a full list of the plastics found inside the whale will be itemized in the coming days.
Blatchley said that the whale died because of dehydration and starvation due to the extreme plastic ingestion.
The result also stated squid beaks were recovered while the presence of parasites was observed in the whale’s stomach and kidney.
He appealed to the public to refrain from throwing plastic trash in waterways since these could be eaten by animals.
"Every single river, every single canal goes directly to the ocean. So everything from small whales and dolphins, even the sea turtles are affected by this, as well as humans. We are eating the food that comes out of that ocean. So we're basically throwing our own garbage into our food source," he said.
Blatchley called the death of the whale due to plastic wastes disgusting and urged the government to take action against those who continue to treat the waterways and ocean as dumpsites.
He said at least 57 whales of the 61 collections at his museum “died due to human causes in the last 10 years.”
“On February 13, we had a Pygmy Sperm Whale recovered in Panacan, Davao, which died due to a chip bag and a used condom inside the stomach,” he said.
A report released by the City Fishery Office of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Office (BFAR)-Davao Region on Saturday evening said the whale, seen last March 15, 2019, on the coastline of Mabini town, could not swim on its own.
According to the reports, attempts to push the “emaciated and weak” whale farther away were futile as it would always go back to shore.
Blood samples were taken from whale and results showed the whale, which had a “prominent backbone and peanut-shaped head,” was dehydrated, it said.
The report added the struggling creature vomited blood and had brown discharges from its anus on the second day and then died.
“The BFAR 11 team collected tissue samples for the scientific determination of other possible causes of death through a series of histophatologic tests,” additional information from the report stated.
Photo from Hernel Tocmo/ABS-CBN News