The Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust took various skin and blubber samples and removed the stomach for further study by the Scottish Agricultural College. On initial removal it was found that the entrance to the stomach was completely blocked with a cylinder of tightly packed shredded black plastic binliner bags and fishing twine.

It is believed that this made it difficult for the animal to forage and feed effectively. This would have a biologically significant impact on the animal’s ability to survive. Full analysis of the stomach contents is currently being undertaken. Cuviers Beaked whales usually prey on squid and catch their prey through the action of suction. It is believed that Cuviers Beaked whales mistake plastic bags in the water column for their prey species squid and ingest them.

In previous years a number of Cuviers Beaked whales stranded in Scotland have been found to have plastic bags in their stomachs. For any more details on this case please contact the Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust at 28 Main Street. Tobermory. Isle of Mull. Scotland. PA75 6NU. 01688 302620. email”

More reports

*Harbour Porpoise (Walker and Coe. 1990) 

Pygmy Sperm Whale (Tarpley. 1990)

In April 2002 a dead Minke whale washed up on the Normandy coast. An investigation found its stomach contained 800g of plastic bags and packaging including two English supermarket plastic bags (GECC. 2002).


More reports on other animal deaths can be found here

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