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Marine Science



Bergen commemorates Jarle Kval, the ‘plastic whale’ who inspired thousands. A special event hosted by the University of Bergen, Norway, has marked four years since the death of ‘Jarle Kval’ – a Curvier’s beaked whale that died after ingesting 30 plastic bags.

Jarle Kval died of plastic pollution outside the city of Bergen in January 2017. After conducting an autopsy, scientists concluded that Jarle suffered pain and started to starve after plastic bags blocked his intestine.

Researches also found English and Danish plastic packaging in Jarle’s stomach.

The story sparked action across Norway and reached audiences all around the world. Within weeks, and as a result of his death, various groups came together and formed a new ‘Plastic Whale Heritage’ alliance.

The plight of marine creatures affected by plastic pollution has gathered significant attention since 2017. Especially after the BBC’s broadcast its Blue Planet II documentary, hosted by Sir David Attenborough.

Last year Norway’s national public broadcaster NRK made fighting plastic waste in the sea the theme of its annual charity fundraising event.

This week, the Plastic Whale Heritage hosted a special live event with the University of Bergen. It is the four-year anniversary of Jarle’s death.

The event came live from a studio at the University of Bergen, where Jarle’s body is displayed together with the bags found inside his stomach.

Synnove Kvamme, regional leader of the Naturvernforbundet Hordaland hosted the event. She warned that: “Our ocean’s heath is at risk and we must act now.”

A recording of the 30 minute event can is available on Facebook and YouTube. After an introductory film, there are various interviews with scientists and campaigners from across Norway and around the world.

Watch the recording here:


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