The death of the baby manatee Emoji in Tampa, FL should not be a surprise. We know that the trash we are releasing into the ocean has negative impacts on local marine wildlife. Headlines like this appear sporadically across world news platforms. Every time it upsets me that reporters make it sound like this is some surprising occurrence, when in fact these types of deaths are probably very common. But with all things that happen in the ocean, out of sight, out of mind. Which is why it can seem shocking when suddenly the damage is in sight
Emoji was rescued by the Lowery Park Zoo in Tampa, and survived 3 months under their care, before finally succumbing to internal injuries.
Just a few days later, a beaked whale washed ashore in Norway. A necropsy revealed more than 30 plastic bags in the whales stomach which likely caused severe pain and starvation.
Read more about Emoji here
Read more about the beaked whale here