Biologists say ocean trash likely led to a whale’s stranding and death

Sperm whale found in the Florida Keys. (Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission)

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries Southeast division reported a 47-foot male sperm whale stranded off the Gulf of Mexico in the Florida Keys.

Biologists found a mass of fishing line, pieces of net and plastic bags in its stomach. A tweet by NOAA Fish Southeast revealed the whale was emaciated and the debris probably didn’t allow the whale to eat properly.

According to the Miami Herald the whale weighed 40 tons and beached itself off Mud Key from the Gulf of Mexico Tuesday. A necropsy revealed the trash inside the whale’s stomach, likely causing its death.

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