- The 12-meter long carcass was washed ashore at Hines Bay near Port MacDonnell
- It is believed to belong a rare species, either a fin or sei whale
- The last reported dead fin whale was found in 2009
- Surfer, divers, swimmers should avoid the area until the whale is fully broken down
Photo copyright: Ken Jones
Couple of days ago a large carcass of a juvenile whale has been found at Hines Bay, in South Australia. The whale is believed to belong to a rare, endangered species.
National Parks and Wildlife Service Lower Limestone Coast district ranger Ross Anderson said “We’re not 100 per cent sure what species it is at this stage but it’s either a fin whale or a sei whale”.
“To help with identification we’re taking some tissue samples which we’ll get to the museum, but there’s also the potential that the museum might be interested in collecting other parts of the animal.”
According to SA Museum senior researcher Catherine Kemper each year there are around 50–60 cases of dolphins and whales (most of it dolphins) washed ashore reported.
“This one’s a bit different because it looks to me like it’s a fin whale … [which] are quite rare. In fact, they’re classed by the Australian Government as endangered,” Dr Kemper said.
“They were quite heavily hunted in the early to mid part of the 20th century, and they never really recovered.”
“We don’t really know where these things — the fin whales — go to have their young, so it’s interesting that this one has turned up on our coast and it’s still quite a young animal,” she said.
“[These are] just little pieces of the puzzle to help us to solve [that], learning about the biology.”