A Dead Whale Shark Was Found in Davao del Norte

A necropsy revealed the whale shark ingested several pieces of plastic trash.

PHOTO BY Darrell Blatchley

(SPOT.ph) You may remember Biboy Royong's "Dead Whale," a 50-foot art installation of a "lifeless" whale made up of plastic waste. The installation, which bagged awards at the Cannes Lions in 2017, is a sobering reminder to be more mindful about our consumption of single-use plastics. Sadly, this time around, life imitates art. A Facebook post by Darrell Blatchley shows a dead 14-foot whale shark found washed up on the shore at a beach in Tagum City, Davao del Norte on August 8.

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According to Blatchley, the necropsy of the dead whale shark revealed that it has ingested several pieces of plastic trash items, such as a cup and candy wrappers. A 2017 study by Greenpeace found that the Philippines is the third worst contributor of plastic waste into the world's oceans, after China and Indonesia. Blatchley expressed his frustration in his post, saying: "Nothing changes. The posts get shared. You get the sad faces, but then the trash still gets dropped [into the ocean]."

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It's not too late to change our habits when it comes to plastic waste consumption and disposal. The Department of Environment and Natural Resources' upcoming cleanup drive on September 15 for this year's International Coastal Cleanup might be a good place to start.

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