Since the mid-1980s, we have read of plastics in the ocean. Most of the plastics found are tiny particles that are consumed and passed through the food chain. Larger pieces of plastic, such as grocery bags, wrappers, Mylar balloons, and even car parts have been found in sea creatures large enough to consume them.
Sperm whales hunt giant squid and have been known to consume debris that resembles their prey. Thirteen stranded sperm whales in the North Sea were found to have bellies full of plastics and at the same time starving and at less than half their normal adult weight. The theory is that their hunger pushed them to hunt in shallower water than normal and they stranded. Had the refuse — including a 40-foot fishing net and a car engine cover — not taken up so much room in their bellies, they might not have ventured into the shallows. When whales strand, their organs cannot survive the massive weight upon them and they die, usually, of heart failure.
- Tuesday, September 13, 2016, 7 p.m.
9883 Pacific Heights Boulevard,
Our local Surfrider Foundation hosts a discussion called Rise Above Plastics every second Tuesday of each month, including this Tuesday, September 13. at 7 p.m., 9883 Pacific Heights Boulevard, Sorrento Valley.