Dead Whales Are Washing Up On Beaches In Italy With Stomachs Full Of Plastic
*WARNING: DISTRESSING CONTENT*
Several whales have been found washed up dead on beaches in Italy with stomachs brimming with plastic waste.
One sperm whale was found on the shore at the popular Sicilian tourist destination of Cefalu on Friday. While they typically live to be 70 years old, this one was estimated to be aged just six or seven.
The pictures, posted on Greenpeace Italia's Facebook page, show the creature's insides full of plastic bags and other debris.
"These are the squid the whale ate and this is all plastic. The plastic probably created a block that didn't let food in. That's very likely to be the cause of death.
View this post on InstagramQuello che vedete nelle foto (immagini forti) è un giovane capodoglio di appena 6 anni trovato morto tre giorni fa sulla spiaggia di Cefalu'. Nel suo stomaco è stata trovata molta plastica. Non sappiamo se sia morto per questo, ma non possiamo far finta che non stia succedendo nulla: sono ben 5 i capodogli spiaggiati negli ultimi 5 mesi, il mare ci sta inviando un grido di allarme, un SOS disperato. Il nostro mare e i meravigliosi animali che lo abitano sono in pericolo e ci chiedono aiuto. Noi non abbiamo intenzione di stare a guardare e ci stiamo attivando con @thebluedreamproject e con i ricercatori per monitorare lo stato di salute del Mediterraneo. Tenetevi pronti, perché vi faremo vedere quello che succede anche nelle acque "di casa". #maydayplastica #plastica #tour #sosplastica #plasticpollution #inquinamento #cetacei #whales #sea #mare #balene #capodoglio #animals
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"We have not found signs that could indicate another possible reason," said Carmelo Isgro of the University of Messina's natural history museum in a graphic video of the autopsy. He also said the creature was so young, her teeth were yet to grow.
Another whale, this time pregnant, was found containing nearly 50 pounds of plastic waste filling more than two thirds of her stomach in the Sardinian town of Porto Cervo in March, according to National Geographic.
Greenpeace Italia says there has been a dramatic increase in sperm whale carcasses found in the region over recent months. While the average is two or three a year, six have been found dead since the beginning of 2019.
And it's not just Italy's beaches witnessing the direct impact of the planet's plastic litter. In March, the organisation reported another whale had been spotted on a beach in the Philippines with 88 pounds of plastic.
"We cannot pretend that nothing is happening. The sea is sending us a cry of alarm, a desperate SOS," stresses Giorgia Monti, Greenpeace Italia's campaign manager. "We must intervene immediately to save the wonderful creatures that inhabit it."
Featured Image Credit: Greenpeace/@Giulia Massa