Published: Wed, November 21, 2018
Sci-tech | By April Francis

Plastic-ridden whale carcass raises concerns about B.C. wildlife

Plastic-ridden whale carcass raises concerns about B.C. wildlife

The cause of death was not known, but park officials found plastic bottles, bags, sandals, and a sack with more than 1,000 pieces of string in the whale's stomach.

Rescuers in Indonesia were alerted to the scene late Monday after learning from local environmentalists that villagers had surrounded the dead whale and were beginning to butcher the rotting carcass, Santoso said.

"As the sperm whale that died off Indonesia had eaten flip-flops, bottles, bags and 115 drinking cups, we should keep in mind that by 2050, there will be more plastic than fish in the world's oceans if we don't act now", tweeted the Green Party at the European Parliament.

WWF Indonesia's Dwi Suprati said while researchers weren't able to ascertain how the whale died the find is "truly awful".

Social Media / Reuters Plastic found in the whale's stomach.

She said the carcass was too decayed to determine the cause of death.

At the end of last year, the United Nations said marine life was facing "irreparable damage" from the approximately 10m tons of plastic waste ending up in the oceans every year, the BBC reported.

Research shows that the majority of plastic that enters the ocean comes from Indonesia and four other countries in the region - China, the Philippines, Vietnam and Thailand - according to a 2015 report by environmental campaigner Ocean Conservancy and the McKinsey Center for Business and Environment. The country creates more than three million tonnes of mismanaged plastic waste every year.

Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, Indonesia's coordinating minister for maritime affairs, told the AP that he sees plastic waste as a "common enemy".

"I'm so sad to hear this", said Pandjaitan, who has campaigned for less use of plastic.

The wire service writes that he said the government "is making efforts to reduce the use of plastic, including urging shops not to provide plastic bags for customers and teaching about the problem in schools nationwide to meet a government target of reducing plastic use by 70 percent by 2025".

Indonesia itself produces about 130,000 tons of plastic and solid waste per day, The Guardian reported in March, citing data from the Rivers, Oceans, Lakes and Ecology Foundation.

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