Whale’s slick draws sharks to beach
The rotting carcass of an enormous 23m fin whale, which has attracted several sharks to Cheynes Beach, has been taken to landfill.
The whale, estimated to weigh 47 tonnes, washed up on the popular beach late last week.
After being rolled onto the beach by an excavator, its massive body was cut into pieces and loaded onto trucks to be taken to Hanarahan Road landfill in Albany.
The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development used the opportunity to tag two white sharks which came close to shore as a blood and oil slick from the whale moved out to sea.
The sharks were 3.8m and 3.2m. DPIRD regional development executive director of operations and compliance sustainability and biosecurity Bruno Mezzatesta said it was a good opportunity to tag the sharks.
“There are currently no known breeding grounds or nursery areas for white sharks in WA, so the department’s tagging work is focused on situations where there is a higher chance of success,” he said.
“For now, the best tagging success in WA is obtained when sharks are naturally attracted to whale carcasses or schooling fish, and these opportunities can vary greatly from year to year.”
The beach is expected to remain closed for a week. The decomposing whale carcass was removed from the beachfront.
The oil slick left by the decomposing whale carcass at Cheynes Beach.