Experts with Greece’s Pelagos Cetacean Research Institute removed up to 100 plastic bags from the belly of a whale that was found dead off the coast of the holiday island of Myconos, the body’s director, Alexandros Frantzis, told Skai TV on Thursday.
Speaking as part of a joint campaign with environmental conservation groups WWF and Greenpeace, the Pelgaos director said that plastic is but one of myriad threats faced by aquatic mammals such as whales, dolphins and porpoises in Greek seas. He said that the necropsy on the sperm whale turned up dozens of plastic shopping bags, including one from a supermarket in Thessaloniki in northern Greece.
Frantzis also warned that over-fishing is threatening dolphin populations in Greece’s seas as well as of the dangers of intense marine traffic on whales and noise pollution from military sonars.
Pelagos has been researching cetaceans in Greece for the past 25 years and first spotted sperm whales, which can reach a length of 15 meters, in 1998.