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40 kgs of plastic cause death of rare whale

Around 40 kilograms of plastic were extracted from the stomach of a rare juvenile male Cuvier’s beaked whale that washed ashore last March 16 in Barangay Cadunan, Mabini town in Compostela Valley province.

D’ Bone Collector proprietor Darrell Blatchey performs a necropsy on a dead rare whale. Regina Mae Ronquillo

Even before the stomach was opened for the necropsy, D’Bone Collector proprietor Darrell Blatchley already knew “there are things which are compact inside its stomach.”

“Usually when we open the chest cavity, if you push it you can tell the animal what’s inside of its stomach, in the case of this one it felt solid as brick,” Blatchley told TIMES on Monday.

In his Facebook post, he revealed that the cause of death is the “16 rice sacks, 4 banana plantation style bags and multiple shopping bags”.

He added that “this whale had the most plastic we have ever seen in a whale”.

Last August 2018, another juvenile whale shark was found dead in Tagum City and several pieces of plastic were recovered in the marine creature’s stomach.

Another female pygmy sperm whale was also found dead last February 2019 on the shores of Barangay Ilang, Davao City after ingesting plastic, condom, junk food package, and other plastic items.

With this plastic-related deaths of marine animals, Blatchley called on the attention of the government not to enforce law “selectively”.

“Law must be enforce throughout the country and strictly enforce it. It has to be enforced from barangay level and up,” he added.

The whale was brought to the facility in D’Bone Collector Museum.

Some portions of its meat were brought to Manila for DNA while the remains were buried “so nobody uses it for human consumption.”

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