Is Ocean Garbage Killing Whales?

Jul 14 2011

The massive amounts of plastic debris dumped in the world’s oceans could be a lethal threat to whales. After reviewing research literature from the past two decades, hundreds of cases have been reported of whales, dolphins, and porpoises being sickened or killed by marine litter. In the past, entanglement in various pollution has been noticed as a threat to animals such as sea birds and turtles, but just recently it is emerging as a serious problem to larger mammals such as whales. For example, in 2008 two sperm whales stranded on California’s coastline were found to have 205 kilos of fish nets and other synthetic debris in their guts. The main threats to these larger mammals are accidental capture in fishing nets and climate change, but now researchers are curious about marine debris being a main cause of death for these animals. For more information on this topic check out their website.

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