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Large amounts of marine debris found in sperm whales stranded along the North Sea coast in early 2016
Unger, B.; Bravo Rebolledo, E.L.; Deaville, R.; Gröne, A.; IJsseldijk, L.L.; Leopold, M.F.M.; Siebert, U.; Spitz, J.; Wohlsein, P.; Herr, H. (2016). Large amounts of marine debris found in sperm whales stranded along the North Sea coast in early 2016. Mar. Pollut. Bull. 112(1-2): 134-141. https://hdl.handle.net/10.1016/j.marpolbul.2016.08.027
In: Marine Pollution Bulletin. Macmillan: London. ISSN 0025-326X; e-ISSN 1879-3363, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keyword
    Physeter macrocephalus Linnaeus, 1758 [WoRMS]
Author keywords
    Marine debris ingestion; Fishing related debris; Plastics; Anthropogenic impact; Pathological findings

Authors  Top 
  • Unger, B.
  • Bravo Rebolledo, E.L.
  • Deaville, R.
  • Gröne, A.
  • IJsseldijk, L.L.
  • Leopold, M.F.M., more
  • Siebert, U., more
  • Spitz, J.
  • Wohlsein, P.
  • Herr, H.

Abstract
    30 sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) stranded along the coasts of the North Sea between January and February 2016. The gastro-intestinal tracts of 22 of the carcasses were investigated. Marine debris including netting, ropes, foils, packaging material and a part of a car were found in nine of the 22 individuals. Here we provide details about the findings and consequences for the animals. While none of the items was responsible for the death of the animal, the findings demonstrate the high level of exposure to marine debris and associated risks for large predators, such as the sperm whale.

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