The West

Whale removal a problem
Whale removal a problem

Site access restriction is preventing the immediate removal of a dead whale washed ashore on Torpedo Rock at Smiths Beach, according to the Department of Environment and Conservation.

Busselton operations manager Brad Commins told the Times the 3.5m-long juvenile minke was reported on August 25. He said it was likely the whale died at sea and was washed up during recent storm surges.

“The carcass is located on a rocky point with no direct track access,” he said.

“A number of removal methods had been considered but none were safe or practical for the site which is inaccessible to machinery and boats ... (and) poses a significant safety risk to staff.

“The state of decomposition also limits the ability to move the carcass and presents a health risk to officers.”

He said the decomposition process was causing the carcass to smell, but believed the odour would not be a significant issue due to its distance from popular beaches.

Mr Commins said the remains were unlikely to attract potential predators to the area.

“Migrating whales, local seal populations and fish stocks are potentially more of an attractant than a land-based whale carcass,” he said.

The department would reassess the situation if the carcass refloats during a high tide.

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