This shocking image shows a dead dolphin washed up next to a pile of rubbish in Sliema.
The harrowing picture shows the creature’s carcass lying next to plastics, rope, seaweed, bottles, cans, nets and wiring.
The gruesome discovery was made by Karen Micallef as she was walking next to the sea at Exiles on Wednesday afternoon.
Social media users were quick to express their horror and sadness at the dolphin’s death.
One wrote: ‘The amount of plastic and rubbish around this poor dolphin should be a wake up call to us all. The streets in Malta are overflowing with rubbish and as soon as it rains it just get washed into the sea.’
Another woman posted: ‘ Omg I’ve really lost all my hope and lost all my faith in humanity.’
A Facebook user added: ‘What a disgrace. Poor animals can’t even live peacefully thanks to us! We had a paradise of a planet but it’s destroyed.’
It is estimated there are 13,000 pieces of plastic litter per square kilometre of the world’s seas and oceans.
Around the globe an estimated one million birds and 100,000 marine mammals and sea turtles die each year when they become trapped in plastic or eat it.
Volunteers from Nature Trust moved the dolphin to another location.
A spokesman said it will undergo an autopsy on Thursday.
He said: ‘The dolphin has been retrieved for post mortem so we may be able to confirm a cause of death.’