July 5th, 2016 (Michael Black). People have been urged to stay out of the water at a popular beach in Western Australia’s South West after a large whale carcass washed ashore.
The 12-metre humpback whale was found at Honeycombs Beach near Margaret River on Monday, with large shark bites visible on the carcass.
WA Department of Parks and Wildlife (DPAW) marine park coordinator Matthew Dasey said the carcass would be broken up into smaller pieces and carted away to a local government landfill site.
“Obviously 40 tonnes of rotting meat on the beach is going to attract sharks, so we want to be on top of that straight away,” Mr Dasey said.
Rangers have been patrolling the beach, a well-known surfing spot in the Leeuwin Estate National Park, to warn people away from the area.
Mr Dasey said the beach would remain closed for a few days after the whale was removed, due to residue from the carcass.
“You can imagine it’s a pretty messy process,” he said.
The whale was an older adult male and is believed (Ed Sibylline : pathlogy is not a religion) to have died from natural causes.
Whales have been migrating north towards the Kimberley over the past two months for mating season.
Anyone who witnesses a troubled or stranded whale or a carcass has been urged to contact DPAW.