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Millions of tons of garbage, most of it plastic debris, ar dumped into the oceans every year.

This may pose a deadly threat to whales, according to a report at an international whaling forum last week.

Thousands of documents from the past 20 years reveal that about 80 species of whales and dolphins have been sickened or killed due to ingestion of plastic waste.

Experts warned that this is emerging as a serious cause of disability and death in large marine animals.

In 2008, for example, two sperm whales were found on the California coast.

One whale had 205 kilograms of fish nets and other debris in its gut.

The other was half-starved because it had wadded plastic blocking its digestive tract.

In 2002, a dead minke whale washed up in France. Researchers later discovered that it had nearly a ton of plastic in its stomach.

However, many scientists have been slow to measure the impact of ocean debris and admit that they do not know how widespread this problem is.

“In many areas of the world, stranded whale carcasses are not recorded or examined, and in areas where strandings are recorded, examination of gut contents for swallowed plastics is rare,” said Chris Parsons, a marine biologist.

He added that the two main threats to whales are still accidental capture in fishnets and climate change.


Q. What does 'wash up' mean in the sentence?

Q. I want to know what the sentence mean based on the context (However~~~ this problem is)

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Something that is 'washed up' in this context is brought by the tide onto the beach or coastline. It is usually not alive when it is 'washed up', otherwise it would swim away.

The phrase 'washed up' can mean something quite different - a person who was once famous or outstanding in their work, but is now unable to do anything because they no longer have the skills or fans. Often it's associated with people who were once great but have allowed drink and drugs to ruin their lives.

HoonyHowever, many scientists have been slow to measure the impact of ocean debris and admit that they do not know how widespread this problem is.

The sentence suggests that scientists are not studying this sort of thing. They can say that something is bad, but if they are not carrying out proper studies, they cannot be sure how bad the problem is. Is it a big problem across the world? ('widespread') They do not know. The writer suggests that the studies should have been done before - the scientists have been 'slow to measure the impact'.

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Hoonya dead minke whale washed up in France.

~ A dead minke whale was found on a beach in France, having been deposited there by the action of waves.

Hoonymany scientists have been slow to measure the impact of ocean debris and admit that they do not know how widespread this problem is.

~ So far, very few scientists have taken the trouble to measure the effects of all these bits of trash in the ocean. They confess that they do not know if this problem of ocean trash occurs only in a few places or in very many places.

CJ