Sky Ocean Rescue: A Plastic Whale

Thomas Moore, Science Correspondent

A stranded whale that died with a stomach full of plastic has a message for us: we need to act.

Our household rubbish is polluting every single part of our oceans, at every possible depth.

And it is killing our marine life.

The Cuvier’s beaked whale feeds far out to sea at depths of a mile or more – and yet one died with dozens of plastic bags in its stomach.

The animal, which stranded near Bergen, Norway, had mistaken so many bags for food that its stomach was stuffed with plastic.

This is not the first animal to die because of widespread plastic pollution – and it won’t be the last.

Sky Ocean Rescue is doing something about it. To get involved, visit the campaign website here.

Video:
Plastic whale: Why we need to act

The story of the plastic whale

Three times the whale swam into the shallow cove on the island of Sotra.

When it first appeared, residents pushed it back out to sea.

The next time it was the fire brigade.

But when it returned for a third time, exhausted and lethargic, the local marksman was summoned to euthanise the beast.

Jan Vindenes first saw the whale from his house 50 metres above the cove. He was part of the desperate effort to save it.

“It didn’t move much, it was just lying there breathing,” he told Sky News.

“It was too tired to swim. It was trying to find a place for his final rest. He came here to die.

“When it was shot, it was an emotional moment. Everybody felt sad.”

Image:
The exhausted whale swam into the cove three times

But for local scientists, the whale’s death was an opportunity.

It was only the second Cuvier’s beaked whale ever seen in Norwegian waters and the local natural history museum wanted the skeleton for its whale hall.

Hanneka Meijer, the curator for Bergen University, oversaw the work on the quayside to remove…

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