DAVAO CITY -- Over 40 kilograms of assorted plastic trash were recovered from the stomach of a the curvier beaked whale washed ashore at Compostela Valley.
The necropsy conducted on the whale discovered last March by Darrel Blatchley, founder of the D'Bone Collector Museum, revealed it ingested 16 rice sacks, 4 banana plantation bags and various shopping bags.
“This whale had the most plastic we have ever seen in a whale. It’s disgusting,” D’ Bone Collector Museum said in a statement.
According to Blatchley, the young male curvier beaked whale, around 15 feet long and weighing roughly 500 kilos, ingested plastics, which likely caused the cetacean to starve and suffer from dehydration.
The United Nations Environment Programme reported as much as 8 million tons of plastic end up in the ocean annually, which equates to a truckload of plastic waste being dumped in the ocean every minute. In 2015, it warned that there are 46,000 pieces of plastic floating for every square mile in the ocean.
According to an audit conducted by the #BreakFreeFromPlasticMovement, an average Filipino individual is responsible for roughly 208 kilos yearly with the typical filipino household producing an estimate of 1,040 kilos of waste annually.
While these man-made packages are often designed to be thrown out after a single use, they were built to last for decades -- even centuries. As the growing plastic crisis continues, reports of these plastic pollution wrecking havoc on marine life are becoming more common.
In fact, the Whale and Dolphin Conservation reported that 56 percent of the cetacean species have been recorded to have mistakenly consumed plastic for food.
In 2015, the United Nations Environment, Social and Cultural Organization estimated that over a million seabirds and around 100,000 marine mammals are killed by plastic waste annually.
Plastic, when ingested, can cause fatal damage to the gastro-intestinal tract. The plastic can also cause blockages and prevent food from traveling from the stomach to the intestine, leading to starvation. The sharp edges of some debris could also poke holes in the stomach.
Just this year, three cetaceans have already washed ashore in the region after ingesting plastic.