Another whale carcass washed ashore in a Sardinian tourist spot of Porto Cervo in Italy. This time, it was a pregnant sperm whale, but its cause of death was no different from the others – it had about 22 kilograms (49 pounds) of plastic in its stomach, along with its dead fetus.
A worker at a near resort found the 26-foot whale late last week, according to the Telegraph. Researchers came to the site and opened the whale only to discover tons of plastic wastes, including plastic plates, trash bags, fishing nets, and tarps.
Along with the trashes was a dead fetus that was about 6 feet (2m) long, which the researchers believe was left malnourished because of the plastic in her stomach.
“She was pregnant and had almost certainly aborted before (she) beached,” Luca Bittau, president of the Scientific Education and Activities in the Marine Environment (SEAME) group, a marine life non-profit organization, has told CNN.
This gruesome discovery is just a month after another whale carcass was found in the Philippines, which had 88 pounds of plastic in its stomach.
“We realized, yet again, we were bearing witness to this very worrisome, sad situation,” Mattia Leone, a marine biologist at SeaMe, told the Telegraph.
The newspaper has also reported that necropsy report and toxicology tests will be available in the coming weeks. This will help the researchers determine the whale’s cause of death.
“Are there still people who say these are not important problems? For me, they are, and they are priorities,” Sergio Costa, Italy’s environment minister, wrote in a Facebook post. “We’ve used the ‘comfort’ of disposable objects in a lighthearted way in the past years and now we are paying the consequences. Indeed, the animals, above all, are the ones paying them.”
Costa said the European Parliament has approved of a law banning single-use plastic items and will be implemented by 2021.
“Italy will be one of the first countries to implement it,” he said. “The war on disposable plastic has begun. And we won’t stop here.”