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Majestic fin whales

Icelandic whalers kill first fin whales in four years

As feared, whale hunters in Iceland have slaughtered at least two fin whales, the first...
hvalur-8-whaling-vessel

Majority of Icelandic people think whaling harms their country’s reputation

A survey of Icelandic people has confirmed that the majority believe whaling damages Iceland's reputation. ...
A magnificent sei whale © Christopher Swann

Japan Begins Commercial Whaling Season

Sei whale © Christopher Swann Japanese whalers have left port to begin this year's annual...

Pumps and conveyor belts. How could more whales help save us?

University of Alaska Fairbanks Master's student, Dana Bloch, retrieves a CTD that is used to...

Study suggests whales are ingesting microplastics in alarming quantities

A new study into plastic pollution and its effects on the marine environment has confirmed that whales are ingesting microplastics in alarming quantities. 

A team from the University of Siena’s looked at fin whales and whale sharks in the Mediterranean Sea and Sea of Cortez respectively.  

Unlike toothed whales, filter feeding whales like the fin open their mouths to take in huge volumes of water and prey, such as krill or small fish. The water then floods back out through the whales baleen filters leaving the prey for the whale to then swallow. 

However, this feeding process also means there is the potential for them to take in substantial amounts of microplastic (less than 5mm wide) floating in the water.

Exposure to these plastic-associated toxins pose a major threat to the health of these whales since it can alter the hormones, which regulate the body’s growth and development, metabolism, and reproductive functions, among other things,”  said Professor Maria Cristina Fossi of the University of Siena.

For more on plastic pollution and how you can help visit WDC’S NOTWHALEFOOD site. BE A PLASTIC HERO! Plastic is #NotWhaleFood.