Isle of Harris: Around 100 kg of plastic, ropes and other rubbish has been found in the stomach of a sperm whale that died on the shore of a Scottish island, alarming animal lovers and activists around the world. The dead whale was found stranded on the sandbanks of Luskentyre Beach on the Isle of Harris in northern Scotland by locals on Thursday.
Animal experts were stunned, when they removed about 100 kgs worth of trash from the whale’s stomach while dissecting it to determine the cause of death.
The Scottish Marine Animal Strandings Scheme (SMASS), an organisation that collates data on stranded marine animals around Scotland, in a Facebook post shared the picture and wrote, ”In this whale’s stomach was approximately 100kg of marine debris- a whole range of plastic including sections of net, bundles of rope, plastic cups, bags, gloves, packing straps and tubing. All this material was in a huge ball in the stomach and some of it it looked like it had been there for some time”.
The corpse of the 26-ton animal was buried on the beach as it could not be removed. It is not yet clear whether the debris contributed to the whale’s death, but this episode has highlighted the grave problem of plastic pollution and how it adversely affects the lives of marine life.
The post talking about plastic pollution further says,“This amount of plastic in the stomach is nonetheless horrific, must have compromised digestion, and serves to demonstrate, yet again, the hazards that marine litter and lost or discarded fishing gear can cause to marine life. It is also perhaps a good example that this is a global issue caused by a whole host of human activities.”
Animal experts and citizens alike expressed sadness at the heartbreaking pictures and commented how plastic is impacting the lives of innocent creatures: (The following pictures may be disturbing to some viewers. Viewer discretion is advised)