In January 2016, sperm whales were found stranded on shores around the North Sea. These whales were stranded on coastlines around the North Sea, where it is too shallow for the marine wildlife.
Five whales were washed up on the beach near Skegness, they were thought to be from the same pod that was discovered five miles south of Skegness. It’s believed that this particular group mistakenly swam into the North Sea, a shallower zone between the U.K. and Norway.
The investigation found that four of the 13 whales stranded in Schleswig-Holstein, had large amounts of plastic waste in their stomachs although this was not the reason for the beaching and the death of the animals but reflects the situation in the open sea.
Large amounts of plastic waste, fishing gear, and car parts, to name a few of the contents that were found inside the stomachs of the sperm whales.
Animals unintentionally consume plastic waste, which causes them to suffer, and in some causes them to starve, as it blocks ups the gut. It is possible that the smaller pieces of plastic could cause problems for the ones that suction feed.
This isn’t the first time a sperm whale has been found dead with innards full of inedible contents.
Plastics have been found to choke marine wildlife, yet we are still dumping our plastic in the ocean with no regard to marine wildlife.
80% of plastic which is discarded on land ends up in the oceans, where it is consumed by wildlife. World Economic Forum has estimated that by the year 2050 that there will be more plastic than marine life in our oceans.
Humans need to learn the value of living sustainably to respect all forms of life.