One 2-Ton Whale Was No Match for 30 Plastic Bags

Bags, other waste found in stomach of euthanized whale in Norway
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 3, 2017 1:33 PM CST
Beached Whale Had a Tummy Full of Plastic Bags: Scientists
In this handout photo from the University of Bergen taken on Wednesday, researchers from the university lay out plastic bags found inside the stomach of a 2-ton whale that was beached in shallow waters off Sotra, an island west of Bergen, some 125 miles northwest of Oslo.   (Uncredited)

Norwegian zoologists have found about 30 plastic bags and other plastic waste in the stomach of a beaked whale that had beached on a southwestern Norway coast, the AP reports. The visibly sick, 2-ton goose-beaked whale was euthanized, Terje Lislevand of Bergen University said Friday. "The [whale's] stomach was full of plastic," Lislevand said, adding that its intestine "had no food, only some remnants of a squid's head in addition to a thin fat layer." Lislevand said the non-biodegradable waste was "probably the reason" why the male whale repeatedly beached last Saturday in shallow waters off Sotra, an island west of Bergen, 125 miles northwest of the capital of Oslo. Its size—about 20 feet long—showed the whale was an adult. The UN estimates that 8 million tons of plastic trash are dumped into the world's oceans each year, Lislevand said. (More whales stories.)

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