Jakarta: A sperm whale found dead in a national park in Indonesia had nearly six kilogrammes (13.2 lbs) of plastic waste, including 115 cups, in its stomach, park officials said on Tuesday. The 9.5-metre (31.17 ft) whale was found in waters near Kapota Island, part of the Wakatobi National Park, southeast of Sulawesi, the park said in a statement. The park is famous among divers for its large area of reefs and diverse marine life including rays and whales.
The cause of death was not known, but park officials found plastic bottles, bags, sandals, and a sack with more than 1,000 pieces of string in the whale’s stomach. In June, the death of a pilot whale in Thailand with 80 pieces of plastic rubbish in its stomach garnered headlines locally but drew more attention outside the country.
Five Asian nations — China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Thailand — account for up to 60 percent of plastic waste leaking into oceans, said a 2015 report by the environmental campaigner Ocean Conservancy and the McKinsey Center for Business and Environment.
Indonesia ranked second behind China in the 2015 study of mismanaged plastic waste from populations living near coastal areas in 192 countries, has pledged $1 billion a year to reduce marine plastic debris by 70 percent by 2025.
Wakatobi park planned to bury the whale carcass at high tide on Tuesday, and the remains would be used for study purposes by the local marine academy.
NDTV – Dettol Banega Swachh India campaign lends support to the Government of India’s Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM). Helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan, the campaign aims to spread awareness about hygiene and sanitation, the importance of building toilets and making India open defecation free (ODF) by October 2019, a target set by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, when he launched Swachh Bharat Abhiyan in 2014. Over the years, the campaign has widened its scope to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and menstrual hygiene. The campaign has also focused extensively on marine pollution, clean Ganga Project and rejuvenation of Yamuna, two of India’s major river bodies.