On Thursday, residents of the Isle of Harris in Scotland discovered, stranded on the beach of Seilebost, the corpse of a cetacean of more than 100 kilos. A tragedy that highlights the problem of marine pollution, says the BBC. In his stomach, the whale was loaded with more than 100 kilos of waste, composed of a heterogeneous assemblage of human objects. Fishing nets, ropes, bags, plastic cups, but also gloves lay inside the beast.
It is impossible to know for the moment if these kilos of plastic ingested by the animal are the cause of his death. The Smass (Scottish organization dedicated to stranded marine animals) undertook to conduct an autopsy and determine the causes of death of the whale. On the Facebook page of the association, the finding relayed by the BBC, however, is alarming. "The animal was not in very bad shape, and while it is certainly plausible that this amount of debris played a role in its actual stranding, we could not actually find evidence that it had impact or obstructed the intestines, "says the association.
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"It was desperately sad"
"This horrible amount of plastic in the stomach must have endangered digestion, and serves to further demonstrate the risks that lost or discarded marine litter and fishing gear can cause to marine life," he says. precise. An observation shared by inhabitants of the island. Asked by the BBC, Don Parry cleans the beach as best he can when he walks around. He saw the whale stranded. "It was desperately sad, especially when we saw fishing nets and debris coming out of his stomach," he said. For him, "this material could easily have been lost in a storm, we do not know, but it shows the magnitude of the problem we have with marine pollution."
The animal was buried Saturday on the beach, in a grave dug by coast guards and members of associations. But the phenomenon is far from isolated and even growing. According to the Smass, 930 animals were stranded in 2018 in Scotland against 204 in 2009.