Pregnant Whale Found Dead After Eating A Fishing Net

We often hear about the pollution that seems to have filled the ocean, but sometimes, we are given a glimpse into the devastating effect it may have on ocean life.

A recent glimpse came from the Whale and Dolphin Conservation. They uploaded a picture to Twitter that showed a pregnant whale who had accidentally ingested some fishing net and died.

They said: “This minke whale was pregnant and carrying a mid-term foetus when she got a piece of discarded trawl net caught in her mouth.”

Photo: Twitter/whalesorg

Because she had swallowed the net and it got stuck in an area that is used for filtering food from water, she wasn’t able to feed and died of starvation. Unfortunately, the unborn calf died along with her.

Some people were shocked that such a graphic image would be posted, but the conservation felt that it was a necessary evil so that people understand what pollution is doing. Even Greenpeace is hoping that the death of this one whale will promote action from others.

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Scottish Marine Animal Strandings Scheme also assessed the body of the whale and shared their findings on Facebook. They said, “The animal was in excellent body condition and pregnant with a mid-term foetus. It looked like it had become recently entangled in a section of discarded or lost fishing net- this had become jammed in the baleen and then dragged behind the animal. This would have hugely impaired the animal from feeding or swimming normally, and likely led to an exhausting last few hours of life.”

Photo: Facebook/Scottish Marine Animal Strandings Scheme

Efforts have been underway by the Whale and Dolphin Conservation to get governments to work along with them so that ambitious and clear “annual targets” are reached. Their goal is to keep marine animals from swallowing those fishing nets and dying. They also hope that some of the most dangerous nets will eventually be phased out.

The conservation reports that every year, many humpback and minke whales die in Scottish waters. Since they are a very important part of our marine ecosystem, the conservation is working closely with fishermen to “reduce accidental bycatch.”

Photo: Facebook/Scottish Marine Animal Strandings Scheme

According to the Herald Scotland, they outlined their goals by saying:

“We are developing a UK Bycatch Plan of Action which we will be publishing later this year. This plan will outline actions to tackle the bycatch of these animals in UK waters in a practical and risk-based way.”

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