A Sperm Whale Found Dead in Spain Had 29 Kilos of Plastic in Its Stomach

by Maya Rinaldi on April 19, 2018 - 10:49am

The purpose of Carly Cassella’s article “A Sperm Whale Found Dead in Spain Had 29 Kilos of Plastic in Its Stomach” is to display the severe consequences that ocean pollution can have on marine life. After the young sperm whale was found dead on a beach in Spain, an autopsy was performed on the whale to get further information on the cause of its death. It was revealed that the whale died because it could not get rid of the trash it had swallowed which consisted of several plastic bags, cans, pieces of rope and net. Plastic is one of the most detrimental threats to wildlife, especially marine life, as it is extremely easy for animals to get caught in the plastic as well as swallow it. Cassella explained that currently, 8 million of it enters the oceans each year and it has been predicted that by the year of 2050, there will be more plastic than marine life present in our oceans. Ocean pollution, especially plastic pollution, causes the deaths of multiple animals and unless a solution is found to this problem, the deaths will persist.


I believe that both the individuals of society and the government are to blame for the severity of the plastic pollution situation in oceans. It is us humans that dump trash into the oceans and it is, therefore, our job to make some changes. We should try and limit, if not, eliminate, our use of plastic bags. As stated in the article, some countries such as England have started putting a charge on plastic bags and this has consequently reduced the total number of plastic bags used across the country. As individuals of society, instead of using plastic bags, we can use reusable bags. On the other hand, the government can also implement a charge on plastic bags to help the cause as well. Making these small changes will make a huge difference in ocean plastic pollution and will consequently save the lives of many marine creatures.


Source: https://www.sciencealert.com/whale-found-dead-spain-29-kilos-plastic-stomach


I chose this summary because i found this issue very intriguing and relevant to the topic of fisheries and marine life. We have only recently really taken into account the impact that such pollution has had on the marine ecosystem, a major part of the makeup of the world. Knowing that plastic can completely overtake the ocean that marine lives depend on, we should really consider effective solutions since the number of tons found in the water keeps rising significantly. According to the article i’ve read, 700 different marine species might go extinct due to the overload of plastic waste in fact “400 of them are involved in entanglement and ingestion”(Good). Moreover, their deaths doesn’t occur spontaneously, it’s a slow dying process from the continuous ingestion of plastic substances. Some of the solutions according to Kate Good is to replace disposable with reusable, simply cutting out the use of plastic bags and learn to live waste free which are fairly simple actions that can be done in order to reduce the excessive amount of plastic waste. This whole situation is a sad reality that could’ve been less severe or completely avoided if only we would’ve done something earlier, but of course we only see our mistakes once we encounter consequences. It is in our hands to change the lives of such helpless marine animals who are, afterall, in danger because of humans.


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