November 25th, 2016. PORT ARANSAS – A dead whale washed ashore onto private property north of Port Aransas and was discovered earlier this week.
The 28-foot female sperm whale was discovered Monday on San Jose Island. The island has very limited access and Tony Amos, The Port Aransas Coordinator with the Texas Marine Mammal Stranding Network, has been looking into this.
Amos says that the sperm whale is the largest of all toothed whales and that she was in bad shape and probably died some time ago. Samples were taken from the whale’s body to help investigate and determine the cause of her death. Amos says it has been eight years since a whale washed up on shore.
At this time, the whale is still lying along the shoreline, it is located about one mile north of the North Jetty on private property.
Amos stressed that it is possible that the whale is carrying viruses that are transmittable to humans, so he says it is very important that the public stays away.
“I discourage them as much as it is an amazing site to see a big whale. It is decomposing. When a mass of several tons starts decomposing, it is a danger,” said Amos.
Under the Marine Mammal Protection Act, it is in fact against the law to touch a sperm whale even if it is dead. At this time, it’s unclear what will be done with the whale’s carcass.