[Marxism] Dead sperm whale had 220 pounds of garbage in its stomach, including rope, plastic and gloves

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Mon Dec 2 19:18:37 MST 2019

Washington Post, Dec. 2, 2019
Dead sperm whale had 220 pounds of garbage in its stomach, including 
rope, plastic and gloves
By Lateshia Beachum

Researchers on a Scottish island found disturbing items during a 
necropsy of a juvenile sperm whale: 220 pounds of land and sea debris.

The young male found himself stranded on the sands of Luskentyre Beach 
on the Isle of Harris, which is located at the northwest corner of the 
Western Isles in Scotland.

His insides revealed an entangled ball of litter that dismayed 
responders with the Scottish Marine Animal Strandings Scheme, an 
organization that collects and analyzes data on stranded marine life 
native to Scotland, according to the organization’s Facebook page.

The young whale had ingested a large amount of refuse, including bundles 
of rope, plastic cups, bags and gloves. Examiners also found packing 
straps and tubing inside his stomach.

The adolescent whale could have swallowed the debris at any point 
between Norway and the Azores, an archipelago in the Mid-Atlantic, 
marine experts said.

Dan Parry, an administrator for the Facebook page that promotes plastic 
pickups on Luskentyre Beach, wrote that the 13-foot-long whale was 
starved to death as its intestines could no longer process food.

But the Scottish Marine Animal Strandings Scheme found that while the 
trash likely played a role in the whale’s death, it wasn’t the sole 
reason. A beachside necropsy didn’t show evidence that trash had 
impacted or obstructed his intestines.

The whale was in decent health despite its trash-filled gut, which 
partially exploded when cut.

Animals as large as the sperm whale are very well insulated, according 
to the Scottish Marine Animal Strandings Scheme. Even when temperatures 
are freezing or just above, the dead animal’s insides still run hot, 
causing rapid decay and even intestinal explosions.

Researchers are still looking into why the young whale ended up with so 
much trash in his system.

Members of the coast guard and the Western Isles Council Disposal team 
also contributed to the postmortem examination of the whale and his burial.

In January, Scottish Marine Animal Strandings Scheme reported that 2018 
was a record year for reported marine animal strandings in Scotland, 
rising from 204 reports in 2009 to 930 last year.

For Parry, the gruesome discovery of refuse in the whale is a reminder 
that keeping the oceans clean is everyone’s responsibility.

“The fishing industry need to do better, but equally, we all need to do 
more,” he wrote. “Watching this today, makes me despair for the 
environment, totally falling apart around us.”

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