Friday, July 19, 2019

Dead whale had 40 kilos of plastic bags in stomach

AUTHORITIES confirmed that several kilos of plastic waste were found inside the body of a juvenile male Curvier Beaked Whale, which was found along the coastline of Barangay Cadunan in Mabini, Compostela Valley province.

Darrell Blatchley, director of the D'Bone Collector Museum, said some 40 kilos of plastic bags, as well as 16 rice sacks, four banana plantation-style bags and multiple shopping bags were ingested by the whale, resulting in its death.

Blatchley said the whale, which was 15.4-foot long and seven-foot wide, was first discovered by a fisherfolk along the coastline on March 15 and was immediately reported to the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR)-Davao. The agency immediately responded and monitored closely the whale for 24 hours.

In a report sent by BFAR Davao Regional Director Fatma Idris, the agency, along with the fisherfolk community, attempted to release the whale three times but it returned to shallow waters.

Upon initial observation, it was found out that it has a prominent back bone and peanut-shaped head area. Blood samples were collected and results showed that the animal was dehydrated.

The whale died around 10:30 a.m. of March 16 after vomiting blood and discharging brown liquid from its anus.

The dead animal was brought to the D'Bone Collector Museum in Davao City for necropsy investigation.

“The presence of squid beaks and parasites in stomach and kidney areas were also observed,” Idris said.

The BFAR Davao-Fishery Management Regulatory Division led by Dr. Elaine Belvis said that some of the whale’s parts were already removed and buried onsite to avoid from being consumed, while some were shipped to Manila for scientific determination of other possible causes of death through a series of histo-pathologic tests.

Belvis reminded the public to immediately call BFAR or the Department of Environment and Natural Resources if they observe marine creatures stranded in their respective coastlines for further action.


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