The death of those whales are the ultimate symbol of humanity's disregard for the planet that we are living on, and for the creatures we share our world with.
Fishing gear and car parts are just part of the content found inside the stomach of Sperm Whales that beached themselves on Germany's North Sea coast.
Earlier this year more than 30 Sperm Whales has been found stranded on shores around the North Sea. Nobody knew for certain how they died, but experts believed that they got lost in shallow water in the search for food. Some of the whales ended up on beaches near the German town of Toenning in Schleswig-Holstein, and was the latest of a series of whales stranding in the North Sea on beaches in Denmark, Germany, The Netherlands, France and United Kingdom.
German experts who ordered Post-Mortems on some of the whales, found that four of the giant marine animals had large amount of plastic waste in their stomachs and intestines. According to a Press Release from Ministerium für Energiewende, Lantwirtschaft, Umwelt und ländliche Raume in Schleswig-Holstein (The ministry of Energy Transition, Agriculture and Rural areas) some of the garbage found was a nearly 13 meter long shrimp fishing net, a car engine cover, the remains of a plastic bucket and other pieces of plastic litter.
Some suggest that the whales thought that the items were food, such as squid, which is their main staple. Others claim that the travesty is largely a result of humanity's disregard for other living animals and mother earth, which has resulted in an overabundance of plastic in the oceans.
Robert Habeck, Environment Minister of Schleswig-Holstein:
"These findings show us the result of our plastic-oriented society. Animal inadvertently consume plastic and plastic waste, which causes them to suffer, and at worst, causes them to starve with full stomachs."
It should be mentioned that the large amount of garbage found inside the whales, was not what killed the young whales. According to National Geographic, they died of heart failure, as a result of swimming into the North Sea, most likely in the search for food, and then not being able to support their own body weights in the shallow water, which made ther internal organs collapse.
But the fact that their stomachs were full of pollution is a horrible indictment of humans. It has been reported earlier that around 80% of the plastic which has been discarded on land ends up in the ocean, where it is to be consumed by wildlife, or are floating around in big plastic islands. Think about it next time you have fish for dinner, - how much plastic do you actually consume by doing that? It feels ironically and sad that the human race are responsible for such a traversity.
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