Humpback whale found dead on Byron Bay beach

Bruce Mackenzie
Swellnet Dispatch

A juvenile humpback whale has been found dead at Tallow Beach, about two kilometres south of Cape Byron.

The body of the 8.8 metre humpback was discovered early this morning. Marine animal rescue group ORRCA was alerted shortly before 8am, and National Parks and police arrived on scene.

National Parks and Wildlife Services (NPWS) ranger Keely Markavino said they were in the process of figuring out the best way to remove the carcass and dispose of it elsewhere.

"The main thing to note is that it won't be disposed of at the beach because that poses its own risk, so it will be disposed of in another safe, designated area," she said.

A juvenile humpback whale has been found dead on a beach in northern NSW.

Ms Markavino said removing the whale was logistically difficult and beachgoers would be excluded from the area during the process. "It is a large animal, it can roll in the surf zones, so we just have to make sure all necessary precautions are taken to be aware of those kinds of risks and mitigate any risks," she said.

"At the moment we haven't seen any shark activity and we aim to remove the carcass as soon as possible."

An aerial drone has been deployed over the area in a bid to shed light on any shark behaviour.

Monitoring shark activity

NPWS wildlife team leader Susan Crocetti said they were working closely with the Department of Primary Industry's shark program. She said vision from the drone could help address concerns fluids leached from whale carcasses attract sharks.

"It just helps us get that body of evidence, that science around shark presence and predator presence," she said. "[Looking at] what's happening in the surf zone gives us clues and information to help us understand this problem."

Ms Crocetti said the information could help stakeholders who are in the process of forming policy around how best to manage dead whales.

"In this particular instance, we've decided to take it down and off the beach but as that review is finalised and we come to some agreement about those recommendations, we'll then consider what our options are," she said.

Too early to know cause of death

Dr Elizabeth Hawkins from Dolphin Research Australia said it was too early to say how the juvenile mammal had died.

"All we can tell at the moment is that it's a juvenile humpback whale," she said. "It looks a little emaciated and its skin condition doesn't look very good either.

"We're going to take some samples and see if we can at least find out a little bit more about why it may have passed away."

A marine mammal researcher says there are no obvious causes of death from an external examination.

Dr Hawkins said there were no obvious causes of death visible from an external observation, however samples would be taken to test for viruses, excessive contaminants or anything which may have compromised the animal's immune system.

"I can see there are a couple of old shark bites on it, so perhaps it's had a little bit of an adventure in its short life already but beyond, that we can't really tell," she said.

Dr Hawkins said the whale was likely to be less than two years old and on its first or second migration. "It's always sad to see these animals, as magnificent as they are, passed away on the beach, but mostly it is nature," she said.

Experts say the dead juvenile whale was likely on its first or second migration north.

In October last year, a dead baby whale washed up on South Ballina beach and was buried by National Parks and Wildlife Services about 150 metres inland, sparking concerns about bodily fluids leaching into the ocean and attacking sharks

The site was about two kilometres south of Ballina's Lighthouse and Shelly beaches, where three major shark attacks occurred in 2015.

The Office of Environment and Heritage used an excavator to exhume the whale's body the following day, and it was taken to the municipal tip.

// Leah White, Bruce MacKenzie and Gemma Sapwell
© Australian Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.

Comments

roondog's picture
roondog's picture
roondog commented Thursday, 5 Jul 2018 at 5:29pm

What to do with it,...... Foliow the lead like WA powers that be, leave it to alttract more sharks into the area, then gain politiical interest from members of the wider community who have no relationship within the ocean, start a verbal and opinionated slinging match between people for political gain

dangerouskook2000's picture
dangerouskook2000's picture
dangerouskook2000 commented Thursday, 5 Jul 2018 at 7:28pm

Bury it. Actually bury it at the pass. Hopefully get rid of some hipsters

velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno commented Thursday, 5 Jul 2018 at 8:41pm

That would keep the vegans out of the water.

Mort's picture
Mort's picture
Mort commented Sunday, 8 Jul 2018 at 9:32pm

Only if you blow it up and big bits of fat land of hipsters. I would not like to gamble on that.

velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno commented Monday, 16 Jul 2018 at 10:47pm

Actually you wouldn't have to do that. One of the more unusual experiences in my surfing life was the afternoon before a dead whale washed up at my local back in 97 or so. It was onshore, and a oily film of dead whale goo covered the lineup and all of us. This would be enough. Funnily enough it made the waves slightly less bumpy.

Mort's picture
Mort's picture
Mort commented Wednesday, 18 Jul 2018 at 10:33pm

I have seen the movie where they bloody blow the whale up. Slighty less bumpy and more sharky.

Mort's picture
Mort's picture
Mort commented Wednesday, 18 Jul 2018 at 11:18pm

Evertime, I think replies are going to hassle me. Ok, granted.

Mort's picture
Mort's picture
Mort commented Thursday, 19 Jul 2018 at 12:55am

I get so frustrated when I say something so stupid, the Swellnet Gods will not let me delete it. Little bit like real life really, you Bastard Gods!

Legrope's picture
Legrope's picture
Legrope commented Friday, 6 Jul 2018 at 12:10am

Bury it in a big whale cemetery (well away from the high tide mark) with dignity and have a full on funeral. Have the wake at the lighthouse with drinks and celebrate the whales passing by.

Mort's picture
Mort's picture
Mort commented Sunday, 8 Jul 2018 at 10:09pm

Ok, whale cemetery, that is taking up some ground.

Quint's picture
Quint's picture
Quint commented Friday, 6 Jul 2018 at 7:10am

Dead whales have rights leave it alone.

Halibut's picture
Halibut's picture
Halibut commented Friday, 6 Jul 2018 at 1:43pm

Paul said "let it be, let it be, let it be yeah, let it be"

another tourist

Mort's picture
Mort's picture
Mort commented Wednesday, 11 Jul 2018 at 9:59pm

Hallo darknesss my old friend

Sound of silence
With restless dreams
Neon light
Sound of Silence

Ten thosousnd people

maybe more

tubeshooter's picture
tubeshooter's picture
tubeshooter commented Friday, 6 Jul 2018 at 8:37pm

I've seen Byron bay hipsters crying on the beach over a dead seagull. I imagine many local residents will need therapy or counseling after this event. " Magic happens"..., so does shit.

truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher commented Saturday, 7 Jul 2018 at 11:30am

Byron Bay 1954 quota was 120 Whales. By 1959 rose to 150 Whales a year. Ending in 1962.
International seafarers know that nearer the Australian coastline the lesser the fines.
Also every chance that local town clerk simply forgot to sign off on Whale Slaughter Law.

Thankfully we would never be so stupid!
"Because the Whale Culling File is in the Town Hall toy box"...'I swear it was?'

Japs sail thru loophole-Fork out the $50 Marine Park' scientific spearfishing licence.'
Hang ten The Pass and carry on filling the quota for us?

As tubeshooter said Magic Happens!...Red tide would clear Pass lineup real fast it would!
Sayonara! Thankyou for very nice organic whales!

tubeshooter's picture
tubeshooter's picture
tubeshooter commented Saturday, 7 Jul 2018 at 8:07pm

I reckon a couple of japanese chefs , a teppanyaki hot plate and that carcass is history.

Mort's picture
Mort's picture
Mort commented Sunday, 8 Jul 2018 at 10:06pm

Yeh right, like two hundred Japanese chefs. hot plate. No, blow it up and God help the consequences.

Mort's picture
Mort's picture
Mort commented Sunday, 8 Jul 2018 at 10:07pm

A Praying for a Dieing Whale

What the Fuck are you doing here!

Really/

Have we become that kind?

It is edited because I am drunk, but, if was not drunk this poem would not be here.

You should be at the depths

The only time we should see you, is your breach

What the Fuck are you doing here!!

There is a white one among you

We have stories about them

You better be careful

Carry on.

Mort's picture
Mort's picture
Mort commented Sunday, 8 Jul 2018 at 10:04pm

The problems with my poems, especially when I am drunk, they are shortened.

Mort's picture
Mort's picture
Mort commented Sunday, 8 Jul 2018 at 10:28pm

I have to keep on saying that, because as basis I am not to sure. But is probably the best work I do, it always has been.

Mort's picture
Mort's picture
Mort commented Sunday, 8 Jul 2018 at 10:23pm

Fuck,I am smart sometimes, just a juvenile. Brave, could see feel all these signals from the land. Was attracted, of course, you won't get shit out his fat, lovely.

jaunkemps's picture
jaunkemps's picture
jaunkemps commented Monday, 9 Jul 2018 at 7:39am

The captin stood on the burning deck his pocket full of crackers one blew of between his legs an blew of both his knackers, Now thats a poem Morty boy........Giddyup

Mort's picture
Mort's picture
Mort commented Wednesday, 11 Jul 2018 at 11:03pm

Morty boy, I will take that.

With forbearance

And a poem

Maybe I am Whale author?

I would like to think so.

Gazbomb's picture
Gazbomb's picture
Gazbomb commented Thursday, 12 Jul 2018 at 10:08am

I guess that it would be far too simple to allow people to harvest the oil, spermaceti, and ivory, then reduce the rest to fertiliser as they've done since time immemorial. The rotting carcass is far too precious for that. Hell, we even expect the authorities to reverently speak about how it "passed away" apparently. Perhaps someone could arrange a funeral service.

Mort's picture
Mort's picture
Mort commented Friday, 13 Jul 2018 at 11:05pm

Above Poem is good is passing as a funeral service. It will not cost you much.

yorkessurfer's picture
yorkessurfer's picture
yorkessurfer commented Thursday, 12 Jul 2018 at 12:10pm

‘Whale Oil Beef Hooked’.... repeat this phrase several times with an Irish accent.

Mort's picture
Mort's picture
Mort commented Friday, 13 Jul 2018 at 11:11pm

Whhale Oil Beef Hookedd, Whhale Oil Beef Hookedd, Whhale Oil Beef Hookeedd. Aih.

velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno commented Monday, 16 Jul 2018 at 10:48pm

Hahahaha! Love it

truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher commented Monday, 16 Jul 2018 at 3:53pm

Angourie [BEACH CLOSED] Warning issued by Laurie Towner.
Whale Carcass (Shark feeding frenzy)
re: The Northern Star 16th July 10:30 am
[WARNING] Kelly said something...

Whale 2 was agonizingly released from Shark nets today at Burleigh Heads...
re: 7 news or GCB Movie length edition of the 1hr + wrangle.
Gold Coast Bulletin 16/7/2018 has updated free wrap of whale episode. That won't last!

The Fire's picture
The Fire's picture
The Fire commented Monday, 16 Jul 2018 at 10:13pm

Can you imagine the number of whales way back in jesus times. Before sushi times. Is the sea floor just littered with whale bones? Or is that where sand comes from?

Peace maaaan..

Mort's picture
Mort's picture
Mort commented Wednesday, 18 Jul 2018 at 10:50pm

Back in Jesus times, there where whales and I am shore he new there songs.

velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno commented Monday, 16 Jul 2018 at 10:49pm
truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher commented Tuesday, 17 Jul 2018 at 1:48am

velocityjohnno...that be a fitting gift if ever there were...Oh bend yer backs and row me lads!

The Fire- knows too well that cremated remains are largely Calcium Phosphate.
Coral sand & shellfish are made of similar as is Whale bone tusks/teeth/claws.
Truth be that a mix of coral based calcium phosphates is used to better ones bone health.

Many argue this make up was not original to oceans but came about by burials.
By that I mean burial of organic matter as a whole but importantly upon continental coasts.
This in turn is constantly creating a Calcium Phosphate rich coastline part advanced by us.
Run offs such as algal blooms is the bi-product from this process.

Here's the thing it's also a known binding agent in DNA process.
In our lifetime coastlines may soon again be mined for medical grade Calcium Phosphate.

Calcium Phosphate also travels on Meteorites then landing on planets.
So when did meteorite land here to deliver us the perfect Surf chemistry?
There are study papers going off into the galaxy for those needing arrival times etc...

Seems that "The Fire" answered his own question!

The Fire's picture
The Fire's picture
The Fire commented Tuesday, 17 Jul 2018 at 8:14pm

Hmm..
Surf chemistry.
I like it!

Peace maaaan..

Halibut's picture
Halibut's picture
Halibut commented Tuesday, 17 Jul 2018 at 9:42am

the trouble with whales and sharks,
and all that crew,
is that they all carry on,
as if we were'nt here too,
folks won't abide by that,
it just won't do,
what do they think this is?
a zoo?

another tourist

Mort's picture
Mort's picture
Mort commented Wednesday, 18 Jul 2018 at 11:45pm

are you talkin to me?

truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher commented Wednesday, 18 Jul 2018 at 12:28am

Sons of Beaches!

Mort's picture
Mort's picture
Mort commented Wednesday, 18 Jul 2018 at 10:39pm

I love that album.

truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher commented Thursday, 26 Jul 2018 at 5:43pm

24 July 2018 NPWS needs your help! 3 East Coast Whales are hauling Fishing gear!
Update/26 July 2018 Good [News] Seaworld released one of these 3 Whales today.(10 TV news)
Report Sightings: Enviroline 131 555 or ORRCA 02 94153333

http://www.echo.net.au/2018/07/three-entangled-whales-off-north-coast-npws/

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