The sad end of a sperm whale in Spain after eating 29 kilos of plastic

A sperm whale has been found dead off the coast of Murcia. The animal that died in Cabo de Palos, in the south of Spain, died for the same unfortunate cause for which hundreds of marine animals die: due to peritonitis or an impaction of the digestive system due to the impossibility of expelling the 29 kg of plastics that it had swallowed. as reported by regional authorities on Friday.

the sad find

In the stomach and intestines of the young sperm whale, plastic bags, raffia sacks, pieces of nets and even a plastic drum were found.

The whale, almost 10 meters long and weighing more than 6 tons, was found dead on a beach in Cabo de Palos in late February.

The world needs us to be aware

The sad discovery of the cause of death has prompted the regional government of Murcia to launch a campaign against the dumping of plastic waste in the ocean.

ConsueloRosauro, general director of the environment of the government of Murcia, explained that plastics in the ocean have become one of the greatest threats to marine life worldwide in the last decade.

“Many animals get trapped in this debris or ingest plastic in such quantities that it ends up causing their death later,” he said.

  • Experts from the El Valle Wildlife Recovery Center, who carried out the necropsy of the young whale, have reported that the cetacean had been unable to digest or expel the plastics in its body and had suffered a fatal case of peritonitis as a result– an inflammation of the peritoneum, the serous membrane that covers part of the abdominal cavity and the viscera.


In 2013, another sperm whale was found dead in the south of Spain, its stomach harboring about sixty pieces of plastic (18 kg) from nearby greenhouses: plastic covers, hoses, showers, mattresses, tubes, etc. In that case, death occurred because one of the plastics burst in the sperm whale’s stomach.

Between that date and today, similar events occurred on the coasts of different countries. Not only marine animals suffer from plastic poisoning, but also many species of birds.