JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - (ActionNewsJax) When a large whale went down Tuesday, all people could do was watch.
No one knew what was wrong -- until the necropsy.
"During our exam the other night, we did find multiple plastic bags and braided line in the first stomach chamber," said Matthew Denny, a field coordinator at the Georgia Aquarium conservation field station in St. Johns County.
Pathology results still have to come in, but right now the cause of death seems to be garbage.
"Wildlife and the fish life out there are getting affected by something that we may have done," said beachgoer Bryan Sanders.
"We have been treating our oceans like trash for way too long and it's starting to catch up with us," said Denny.
Last week, a pygmy whale and her calf washed up as well.
Denny doesn't know if they ingested debris, but one thing is for sure -- humans are going to have to pitch in to protect marine life, he said.
"If we're proactive and we're our doing coastal cleanups, reduce, reuse, recycle. Those are all things we can do to try and prevent scenarios like this," said Denny.
There's a new app that can help people report marine mammals in distress. It's called Dolphin and Whale 911.
It allows you to upload pictures and give your exact coordinates to wildlife experts.
Dead dolphins have also washed up in large numbers. In the last 11 months, 110 have been recovered in our area.