Plastic waste, the culprit behind one of the most burning environmental issues we are facing today, is an immense threat to a number of animals, especially marine mammals like whales. Whales, like many other animals, often mistake plastic trash for potential food and ingest it. During necropsies performed on whales after deadly in their consequences strandings, specialists found an increasing amount of plastic debris in the animals’ stomachs. Another danger posed by our waste is that of entanglement. For whales, even despite their size, abandoned fishing nets still pose a very serious risk.
In the video above we see the crew of a cargo ship “Sheikh Mokrani,” rescue a massive whale from a ghost fishing net. After struggling to free the massive animal, the crew managed to liberate the whale and send him back to deep waters!
This amazing rescue illustrates how real the dangers of plastic waste are for the animals in the oceans. Every year, we throw into the oceans around 8.8 million tons of plastic! Because of that unbelievable overflow of debris, 700 marine animals species are now faced with extinction, 50 percent of all sea turtles have plastic in their stomachs, and it is estimated that by 2050, 99 percent of all seabird species will have ingested plastic waste. The conclusions are obvious – we have to do something about our plastic problem now or else it will be literally too late for an overwhelmingly huge number of animals.
See how you can change your daily routine to minimize your own use of plastic – join One Green Planet’s #CrushPlastic campaign.