In January 2016, 29 Sperm Wales were discovered beached on shores around the North Sea which is much too shallow for these aquatic mammals. Scientists were severely concerned when finding what these animals had digested. Several whales were found dead with plastic fragments in their stomachs, one with a 13-meter long fishing net, another with a 70cm piece of a car engine cover and bits of synthetic materials. However, the reason for their death was but heart failure.
Robert Habeck holding car parts and fishing nets that were found in the stomachs of the Sperm Whales
The environmental minister for the state of Schleswig-Holsten, Robert Habeck, said that “These findings show us the results of our plastic-orientated society. Animals inadvertently consume plastic and plastic waste, which causes them to suffer, and at worst, causes them to starve with full stomachs.”
Suffering from human negligence
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