Whale Dies After Ingesting 80 Plastic BagsMarie Donlon | June 04, 2018
Following news that a whale recently washed ashore in Spain with 64 pounds of plastic and other debris in its stomach comes word that a whale washed up in Thailand in recent days after having swallowed 80 plastic bags.
Located in a region well-known for its excessive use of plastic bags, the male pilot whale was still alive, although barely, when he was discovered in a canal close to the Malaysian border.
After a veterinary team’s repeated attempts to save the whale, he died on Friday afternoon, according to reports on the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources’ Facebook page.
An autopsy was conducted on the sea creature, revealing 80 plastic bags, weighing roughly 18 pounds, lodged in the whale’s stomach.
Marine Biologist Thon Thamrongnawasawat said that the bags acted as a barrier preventing the whale from eating anything with nutritional value.
“If you have 80 plastic bags in your stomach, you die," he said.
According to Thon, this occurrence is no longer unusual and estimates that roughly 300 marine animals — including pilot whales, sea turtles and dolphins — die each year in Thai waters after consuming plastic.
"It's a huge problem," he said. "We use a lot of plastic."