The social media phenomenon known as the Beached Az whale has been killed off by its creators to highlight the plight of marine life ahead of World Oceans Day on Sunday.

The original online video, which was posted six years ago and has more than eight million views on YouTube, has been updated with the Beached Az whale now a ghost because he ate too much plastic.

In the new video, a collaboration between the Beached Az producers and Greenpeace New Zealand, the whale explains to his best mate, the seagull, why he has died.

Beached Az producer Anthony MacFarlane said they hoped new video would help spread the message about debris in the sea and the state of the world's oceans killing marine life.


"We just want all the cuzzies and bros out there to know that the ocean's getting pretty sick and it's time we all took notice, so we don't have to kill off any more cartoon whales. It's been pretty traumatic," he said.

Greenpeace oceans campaign team leader Lagi Toribau said: "While this video still has those serious undertones, we hope the humour will get the message out there in a different way to engage New Zealanders for World Oceans Day and we hope that a few more Kiwis look at ways they can make a difference."