Two weeks later, whale carcass continues to rot on Goa beach
The carcass remains on the beach on account of difficulty in getting heavy lifting machinery to the area.Updated: Sep 21, 2019 16:56 IST
The administration’s attempts to dispose off the carcass of a 7-metre long whale that washed ashore ten days ago at Bimbel beach in Goa’s Vasco da Gama have been unsuccessful.
A dwarf sperm whale washed ashore on September 9, but nearly two weeks later, and efforts by more than 27 people the carcass remains on the beach on account of difficulty in getting heavy lifting machinery to the area.
“About 27 personnel from Forest, Labour and Fisheries departments and many locals were provided access to the beach on September 11, 17 and 19. An attempt was also made to burn or bury the carcass, but these have thus far remained unsuccessful,” a Navy spokesperson said.
The beach is at a stone’s throw away from the INS Hansa Naval base and the beach itself comes under the Navy’s jurisdiction and is out of bounds for the public.
The carcass of the whale is estimated to weigh around a tonne and is seven metres long.
The administration is now deliberating on cutting the carcass into smaller pieces and attempting burial using local boats. The Collector of South Goa has called for an urgent meeting on Monday to deal with the issue.
“The Navy has extended full cooperation by granting 24x7 access to agencies to the restricted beachfront. Goa Naval Area and INS Hansa remain committed to provide their full cooperation in the matter,” the spokesperson said.
Goa has an established set of protocols when it comes to handling cases of marine strandings including whales and dolphins as well as turtles and other marine life.
This is the second whale washed ashore in Goa since 2016.
Besides whales, there have been 155 strandings between June 2018 and June 2019 of which turtles were 133 (83 carcasses and 30 live turtle strandings); Cetaceans (dolphins and porpoises) were 42 -- all dead save for one-- a striped dolphin which was found alive and returned to the sea.
The previous year -- between June 2017 to June 2018-- there were 115 strandings including 78 turtles (57 carcasses and 21 live turtles needing rescue or treatment) and 37 cetaceans.
First Published: Sep 21, 2019 16:56 IST