The dead whale was first spotted by workers of D'Bone Collector Museum in Davao. Recovered from inside the beaked whale were 16 rice sacks, four plastic bags used in banana plantations, multiple shopping bags, and hundreds of other small pieces of plastic packaging.
"It had been vomiting blood before it died", he said, learning during the necropsy that the cause of death was not natural.
The museum said via their Facebook page they uncovered an extraordinary amount of plastic in the whale's stomach after conducting an autopsy.
The whale's grisly death brought renewed focus to the worldwide problem of plastics ending up in oceans; a 2015 study estimated that 5 million to 13 million metric tons of plastic waste pollute oceans each year.
"Upon reaching the stomach I knew this whale had died due to plastic ingestion", he said.
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"The plastic in some areas was so compact it was nearly becoming calcified, nearly like a solid brick", said Mr. Blatchley, who has seen other marine mammal post-mortems.
This Cuvier's beaked whale had swallowed plastic when it felt hungry. "Action must be taken by the government against those who continue to treat the waterways and ocean as dumpsters".
According to the museum's Facebook post, this was the largest amount of plastic it had discovered in a whale, which died of starvation and dehydration related to the bags. According to a 2017 study from the environmental group Ocean Conservancy, more than half of that waste comes from just five countries in East and Southeast Asia - China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.
Blatchley explained that cetaceans, which are aquatic mammals such as whales or dolphins, don't drink water from the ocean but rather get access to fresh water from the food they consume.
Joe Palma, the president and chief executive of the World Wide Fund for Nature in the Philippines, cited single-use plastics, the difficulty of recycling and a lack of local laws as factors contributing to the pollution.