Pilot Whale Dies After Eating 80 Plastic Bags in Thailand

In another tragedy for marine mammals who are being increasingly harmed by our trash, a pilot whale has died in Thailand after consuming a shocking amount of plastic debris.

He was found days ago in a canal near the border of Malaysia clearly in need of help. Rescuers used buoys to keep him afloat and shielded him from the sun, but despite intervention from veterinarians, he didn’t survive.

“พบวาฬนำร่องครีบสั้น พลัดหลงเข้าคลองนาทับ”
วันที่ ๒๙ พฤษภาคม ๒๕๖๑ กรม ทช. โดยศูนย์วิจัย ทช. อ่าวไทยตอนล่าง…

Posted by กรมทรัพยากรทางทะเลและชายฝั่ง on Tuesday, May 29, 2018

According to the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources, he was thin and had an infection in his blood, a bacterial infection in his respiratory tract and was dehydrated.

A necropsy found he had consumed more than 17 pounds of plastic, including 80 plastic bags, on top of five bags he threw up during the rescue attempt.

It’s believed he mistook the bags for food, possibly mistaking them for jellyfish. After filling up, he was no longer able to eat anything, which led to malnutrition and other health issues that were discovered after he died.

“ถามใจคุณดู ว่ายังจะทิ้งขยะลงทะเลกันอีกไหม”
วันที่ ๒ มิถุนายน ๒๕๖๑ กรม ทช. โดยศูนย์วิจัย ทช. อ่าวไทยตอนล่าง…

Posted by กรมทรัพยากรทางทะเลและชายฝั่ง on Friday, June 1, 2018

Sadly, what happened to this whale because of our actions is hardly an isolated incident, and it’s a cause for great concern.

“We have no idea how many animals aren’t showing up on a beach,” Regina Asmutis-Silvia, Whale and Dolphin Conservation’s executive director told National Geographic. “This is one pilot whale, this doesn’t consider other species. It’s symbolic at best, but it’s symbolic of an incredibly significant problem.”

In Thailand, local experts estimate that 300 animals are being killed by plastic waste there every year, while others around the world have met a similar fate.

Globally, plastic is a growing threat to whales, dolphins, sea turtles, seabirds and other marine species who continue to consume it.

If there’s any kind of silver lining to this tragedy, it’s that Thai officials are calling on everyone from manufacturers and distributors to consumers to reduce our dependence on plastic, and they will be increasing that call for World Oceans Day on June 8.

The theme this year is, fittingly, preventing plastic pollution and working towards solutions that will help keep the earth’s oceans healthy. For marine species who continue to be affected, action on our part to stem this problem can’t come soon enough.

Photo credit: Thinkstock

93 comments

Jack Y
Jack Y2 months ago

thanks

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Jack Y
Jack Y2 months ago

thanks

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John J
John J2 months ago

thanks for sharing

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John J
John J2 months ago

thanks for sharing

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Marie W
Marie W6 months ago

Thank you for caring and sharing

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KimJ M
KimJ ManyIssues10 months ago

Errors and fraud mean consumers may be wasting their time trying to recycle unless Government gets a 'tighter grip' to put system right, watchdog warns.
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5980853/Is-plastic-paper-sent-abroad-recycling-ending-landfill.html

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KimJ M
KimJ ManyIssues10 months ago

TWO THIRDS of plastic food containers sent for recycling are burnt or sent to landfill. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6025183/TWO-THIRDS-plastic-food-containers-set-aside-burnt-sent-landfill.html ..... Britain's 'recycled plastic' is dumped in landfill all over the world: Rubbish bearing names of UK supermarkets is found in Poland, Hong Kong and Thailand. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5309215/Britains-recycled-plastic-dumped-landfill.html

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KimJ M
KimJ ManyIssues10 months ago

Criminal 'trash mafia' gangs burn Tesco bags and M&S packaging that were sent for recycling in Britian 1,600 miles away on a rubbish tip in Poland. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6024951/British-recycled-waste-dumped-toxic-Polish-tip.html

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KimJ M
KimJ ManyIssues10 months ago

Heartbreaking :((
REVEALED: How the plastic industry KNEW 50 YEARS AGO it was causing a pollution crisis and hid it from the world. -
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5240389/Plastic-industry-hid-pollution-crisis-50-years.html ........
http://plastic-pollution.org/
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/jun/28/a-million-a-minute-worlds-plastic-bottle-binge-as-dangerous-as-climate-change ......
https://news.sky.com/story/thousands-of-tons-of-uk-plastic-dumped-across-world-11218595 .......

https://news.sky.com/video/thousands-of-tons-of-uk-plastic-dumped-across-world-11220440

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Nicole H
Nicole Heindryckxabout a year ago

@ DOT A : Many thanks for both your comments. I totally agree with you, and even have to admit that I did NOT know that our clothing is containing plastic particles and that these microfibers are dissolved with the rinsing water. How horrific this is. Now I will have to check all the labels on the clothing I buy, as pure natural fibers are nearly non existing anymore. We have cotton, linnen, silk and wool and that's about all I think !!

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