Despite decades of protection, 13 great whale species are classified as ‘endangered,’ by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.
World Wildlife Fund reports that as few as 300 North Atlantic right whales remain, while other species range from 10,000 to 90,000. But thanks to recent events, their population are now decreasing at a very alarming rate.
Most of them died due to entanglement in fishing gears, collisions with ships, oil and gas developments, commercial whaling, warming of the seas and plastic pollution.
In recent events, two consecutive whales have been found on the shores – both of them filled with plastic in their stomachs. The female whale’s fetus, dead too, because it failed to get the nutrition it needed thanks to several plastic particles in its mother’s belly.
Here are five of the worst cases of whale deaths in just two years:
64 pounds of plastic trash has been found inside a young sperm whale on the southeast coast of Spain on February last year.
The whale ingested plastic bags, ropes, netting, and even a plastic drum that clogged its intestines and stomach.
A small male pilot was found struggling, unable to swim or breathe in Thailand. He vomited five plastic bags during the rescue attempts.
Five days later, it died.
Necropsy report revealed more than 17 pounds of plastic had clogged up the whale’s stomach, making it impossible to ingest nutritional foods.
80 shopping bags and other plastic debris have been found.
A dead sperm whale washed ashore in a national park in Indonesia.
13 pounds (6 kilograms) of plastic have been found in its stomach, including 115 drinking cups, four plastic bottles, 25 plastic bags, and two flip-flops.
A whale vomiting blood was found in Davao Gulf, Philippines vomiting. It died shortly.
Darrell Blatchely, a marine mammal expert, opened the whale and found 88 pounds (40 kilograms) of plastic waster in its belly.
16 rice sacks, plastic bags, snack bags, and big tangles of nylon ropes were recovered in its stomach.
A pregnant sperm whale was found dead in Italy.
It has 22 kilograms (49lbs) of plastic in its stomach, along with her dead fetus, who was believed to be malnourished, because of the plastic.
Garbage bags, fishing nets, lines, tubes, washing machine liquid packages, trash bags, and tarps were found in its stomach.
How many more whales and other creatures must die and become extinct, before everyone do their parts to save the only place we call home?