48 Pounds of Plastic in Dead Whale
MILAN » A 26-foot sperm whale was found dead off Sardinia with 48.5 pounds of plastic in its belly, prompting the World Wildlife Foundation to sound an
alarm Monday over the dangers of waste in the Mediterranean Sea.
The environmental group said the garbage recovered from the sperm whale’s stomach included a corrugated tube for electrical works, plastic plates, shopping bags, tangled fishing lines and a washing detergent package with its bar code still legible.The female whale beached off the northern coast of Sardinia last week, within the vast Pelagos marine sanctuary that was created as a haven for dolphins, whales and other sea life.
“It is the first time we have been confronted with an animal with such a huge quantity of garbage,” Cinzia Centelegghe, a biologist with the University of Padova, told the Turin daily La Stampa.
The exam also determined that the whale was carrying a fetus that had died and was in an advance state of decomposition.
WWF said plastic is one of the greatest threats to marine life and has killed at least five other whales that had ingested large amounts of it over the last two years from Europe to Asia. — The Associated Press