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21 November 2017

Nearly 10% Of Whales, Dolphins And Porpoises In Ireland Found To Have Consumed Plastic

A new study has revealed the shocking reality of plastic debris polluting the ocean.

Scientists working in Ireland have discovered that almost ten per cent of whales, dolphins, and porpoises whose bodies were examined after death were found to have plastics in their digestive systems.

They found that 8.5 % (45 individuals) of those tested had marine debris in their stomachs and intestines, and that deep-diving species (like Cuvierís beaked whales), ingested more plastics than those individuals that roam the seas closer to the coast.

Plastic is #NotWhaleFood

In one of the largest studies of its kind, this information was gathered between 1990 and 2015 from whale and dolphin strandings and accidental capture in fishing nets in Ireland.  Eleven different species of whales, dolphins and porpoises were analysed and a range of plastics were found inside them including, plastic bags, wrappers, fishing hooks and even shotgun cartridges.

Plastic pollution is a growing threat to whales and dolphins as well as seabirds and other marine creatures. Fifty-six percent of all whale and dolphin species, from small fish-eating dolphins to the largest filter feeding whales, have been recorded eating marine plastics they've mistaken for food.

Visit our #NotWhaleFood page and find out more about the issue and what you can do.

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