40 kilos of plastic bags recovered from dead whale’s stomach

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DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 17 March) – At least 40 kilos of plastic were recovered from the stomach of a juvenile Cuvier’s beaked whale that died at around 10:30 a.m. on March 16, 2019, a day after beaching in Barangay Cadunan, Mabini town in Compostela Valley province.

“The most plastic we have ever seen in a whale. It’s disgusting,” Darrell Blatchley, a Davao City-based American marine biologist and President of D’ Bone Collector Museum Inc., posted on his Facebook page as the “final cause of death.”

He said they found in the belly of the 15.4-foot whale, 16 rice sacks, four bags similar to those used in banana plantations, and multiple shopping bags, among others. ‘


Davao City-based American marine biologist Darrell Blatchley says 40 kilos of plastics were recovered from the stomach of a juvenile Cuvier’s beaked whale that died a day after beaching in the coastal town of Mabini, Compostela Valley province. (Photo courtesy of Darrel Blatchley’s FB page)

He said the full list of plastic materials will be itemized in the coming days. He urged the government to take action against those who continue to treat the waterways and ocean as dumpsites.

Released on Saturday evening, the result of the necropsy, conducted by Blatchley and Dr. Elaine Vera Belvis of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR)-Fishery Management Regulatory and Enforcement Division showed “all stomach compartments were full of foreign materials such as plastics of varying sizes and shapes, sacks, among others.”

The result also stated squid beaks were recovered; the presence of parasites was observed in the whale’s stomach and kidney.

The City Fishery Office of the BFAR-Davao Region in its report on Saturday evening said the whale, seen last March 15, 2019, looked “emaciated and weak’’ and that efforts to push it farther away were futile as it would always go back to shore.

Blood samples were taken from whale and results showed the whale, which had a “prominent backbone and peanut-shaped head,” was dehydrated.

The report added the struggling creature vomited blood and had brown discharges from its anus a day after it was stranded. It died a few moments later.

Its remains were immediately brought to D’Bone Collector Museum in Davao City for necropsy.

Plastic materials used by banana plantations were among those found in the belly of the Cuvier’s beaked whale that died in Compostela Valley on May 16, 2019. Davao City-based Darrrell Blatchley says “the most plastic we have ever seen in a whale. It’s disgusting.”  Photo courtesy of Darrell Blatchley’s FB page

Blatchley said that in the last 10 years, at least 57 of the 61 whales whose skeletal remains are in his museum “died due to human causes.”

On February 13, 2019, a dead a pygmy sperm whale was found in Panacan, this city. Condom and plastic wastes were recovered from its stomach. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MIndaNews)

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