Malaysia: Plastic garbage found in Whale carcass
14th February 2016;
Badly-damaged internal organs as well as a parasite have been found in the carcass of a Whale that was found along Sungai Sarang Buaya near Batu Pahat.
Johor Fisheries Department director Munir Mohd Nawi said an initial post mortem discovered small pieces of plastic garbage that had already decayed.
“We also found a large quantity of mud in its breathing organs,” he said, adding that this had caused breathing difficulties for the Whale.
“There is also a high number of orange-coloured nematode parasite within its intestines.
"During the post mortem, we also found its internal organs to be badly damaged,” he said when contacted.
Last Monday, the 12m-long male Sei Whale (Balaenoptera borealis) weighing 15 tonnes was seen at Pantai Rambah in Pontian where it had beached itself.
A group of people managed to pull it into deeper waters.
However, the carcass of the Whale was found 90 nautical miles at the river mouth of Sungai Sarang Buaya the next day.
Munir said the department would be conducting a histopathalogy (microscopic tissue examination) on the Whale’s tissue to find out further details about its death.
Tissue samples would be taken to a laboratory, and the results were expected within the next two or three weeks.
We want to know its exact cause of death as the Sei Whale is an endangered species under the International Union for Conservation of Nature,“ he said.
The bones of the mammal would be placed at the department’s temporary gallery as part of its educational programme for the public.
Source: The Star
The three longitudinal ridges along the rostrum are quite obvious in other photos, and are a characteristic feature of the Bryde’s Whale (Balaenoptera edeni); all other rorquals, including the Sei Whale, have only a single ridge along the upper edge of the rostrum. Hence it’s quite puzzling why this Whale has been identified as a Sei Whale, and it’s frustrating that the media is perpetuating this misidentification.
The taxonomy of the Bryde’s Whale is still far from settled; what we call the Bryde’s Whale has been split into two subspecies or even distinct species by some authorities: the true Bryde’s Whale, a larger species found in tropical and warm temperate waters worldwide (Balaenoptera brydei), and the Sittang or Eden’s Whale, a smaller form that may be restricted to coastal waters of the Indo-Pacific (Balaenoptera edeni). Both species(?) have been recorded from tropical waters of Southeast Asia.