Whale death on Rhodes linked to plastic waste

Whale death on Rhodes linked to plastic waste

A 5.3-meter Cuvier’s beaked whale (Ziphius cavirostris) that was found dead on the beach at Kremasti on the Aegean island of Rhodes on Monday had ingested a large amount of plastic, the autopsy has shown. In a statement, the Environment Ministry said the whale had swallowed more than 15 kilograms of plastic.

“It is not rare for the Ziphius and other whales to die from the ingestion of plastics, or to suffer long-term harmful effects on their health as a result. In this case, the large amount of plastic found in the stomach of the whale did not allow it to eat properly, resulting in cachexia and death,” said Anastasia Komninou, a professor at the Veterinary School of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, who oversaw the autopsy.

For his part, Deputy Environment Minister Giorgos Amyras said the plastics problem is “deeply felt in the Mediterranean Sea, considered one of the world’s most burdened areas.”

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