Monday, January 25, 2010

Trash Killing Whales in The Med?

Odd bad news from out of Foggia, Italy on the Adriatic Sea - a number of Sperm whales beached themselves and died, a result of complications of eating pelagic (ocean-going) plastics and other trash, according to local researchers.

Should it be a surprise? Not really - sadly, it makes sense, with the oceans now becoming the go-to end-point for all of the stuff that we don't want...that doesn't make it to the landfill, or recycler.

The source article is scant on information, and mass beachings are always a surprising, perplexing occurrence, but a quick web search of "foggia whales" turns up more details. This article features a photo of one of the whales on a...scenic, trash-strewn beach - making a good case for the trash-ingesting diagnosis.

The Mediterranean is a legendary, wonderful region, though while living there in the late '80s, one of my most vivid memories of the place was stepping on a submerged plastic soap bottle while swimming along a Mid-Eastern coast - shocking for someone used to the relative trash-less-ness of Southern California beaches of that time! That was ~20 years ago, but I bet that bottle is still out there, swirling around... :(

Keep an eye on your plastics and bin your butts!