News World Plastic peril: Whale dies after swallowing 80 shopping bags

Plastic peril: Whale dies after swallowing 80 shopping bags

whale plastic
A mass of black plastic came to light during an autopsy. Photo: Dept of Marine and Coastal Resources
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Thailand coastal authorities say a whale found in the south of the country died after swallowing 80 plastic bags.

Thailand’s Department of Marine and Coastal Resources says the small male pilot whale was found last week.

The whale was spotted in a canal near the Malaysian border, unable to swim.

Officials tried to help by covering it with a sunshade and attempting to use boats to help it float, the BBC reported.

But it suffered convulsions during the rescue attempt and vomited five plastic bags shortly before it died.

Rescuers tried in vain to save the stricken sea mammal but their efforts were doomed from the start. Photo: Thai government

An autopsy revealed plastic bags weighing eight kilograms inside the whale’s stomach.

Thailand is one of the world’s largest consumers of plastic bags, which kill hundreds of marine creatures living near the country’s beaches each year.

Last month, the Thai government said it was considering a levy on disposable plastic shopping bags.

A study published this year revealed there was up to 16 times more waste in the Pacific Ocean than previously thought.

Drag netting and an aerial survey showed the Great Pacific Garbage Patch covered 1.6 million square kilometres — an area almost the same size as Queensland.