[World Now] Argentinian seals die in rubbish heap “full of plastic in the stomach”

A seal surrounded by plastic rubbish on a beach in Penrhyn Valdes, Argentina

Seals and sea lions are suffering as the beaches of the Valdes Peninsula, located in Chubut province, eastern Argentina, are covered in plastic waste, local media Infovae reported on the 19th local time.

The Valdes Peninsula has an area of ​​3,625 km2, almost six times the size of Seoul, and faces the Atlantic Bay.

It is an important nursery for southern elephant seals and South American sea lions, and is also known as home to the endangered southern right whale.

It has also been recognized as an ecosystem of diverse marine animals such as the Magellanic Penguin, and was registered as a World Natural Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1999.

At the end of August, the shocking image of a seal moving while moving its heavy body in a pile of plastic rubbish on the beach of the Valdes Peninsula quickly spread through local social media.

The beach of Puerto Pyramide, located on the Valdes Peninsula, is now 80% contaminated with plastic waste, said Sergio Kasin, Deputy Minister of Environment for the State Government.

Most of the plastic waste that fills the beach is discarded fishing gear such as nets and plastic boxes that have been dumped by squid and shrimp fishing boats in the Atlantic Ocean.

Alejandro Ferro, who runs a farm in Penrhyn Valdes, said he had found countless sea animals suffering from entangled nets on the beach near the farm.

“If you autopsie a baby penguin carcass, the inside will be full of plastic,” he said.

In the SNS space, netizens said that it is even more pathetic because there are many pictures of seals and sea lions living on the beach full of plastic waste, struggling to climb or screaming on the pile of garbage.

According to the United Nations report on environmental pollution, 85% of marine debris is plastic waste, with a total of 199 million tonnes of plastic waste, of which less than 10% is hardly recycled.

Even more problematic is that this plastic waste breaks down and breaks down into small pieces, which marine animals confuse between food and eating, posing a direct threat to life.

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