Zoologists say dead whale in Norway full of plastic bags

Beached whale

Zoologists say dead whale in Norway full of plastic bags

"The stomach was completely packed with plastic - about 30 plastic bags in addition to some smaller plastic items".

"It wasn't like it (the plastic) was in just a part of the stomach; it filled up the whole space", said zoologist Terje Lislevand.

Several attempts were made to chase the six-metre-long Cuvier's beaked whale back into the sea on January 29, but eventually the whale had to be shot and it was later taken away to be examined. Malnourished and almost blubberless, it appeared that the whale had been accidentally consuming plastic for a long period of time, causing it to slowly starve to death. "I don't think it's been comfortable to have this in the stomach".

"I think the whale has been in pain. It's the explanation of why the animal acted so odd and stranded".

Photo shows the sick goose-beaked whale found on the island of Sotra in western Norway.

The whale repeatedly got stuck in shallow waters off the island of Sotra, west of Bergen, despite attempts to help it get back out to sea, local media said. After the whale in Norway was euthanized, researchers at the University of Bergen did an autopsy and found thirty plastic bags, along with other pieces of plastic detritus.

The scientists described the mass of human-produced refuge lodged in the whale's stomach as "not surprising" given the amount of plastic littering the Earth's waters. Many of these plastics - such as those found in the whale's stomach - are not biodegradable and can take decades or even hundreds of years to break down.

The Daily Mail has always been campaigning for tough action to reduce plastic bag waste.

Experts have sounded the alarm over how plastic pollution kills huge numbers of seabirds and marine mammals and destroys ocean ecosystems.

Previous year the Government introduced a 5p for plastic bags in supermarkets and other large stores.

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