(Canadian Press)

Canadian village looks to get rid of massive, long-dead humpback whale

The whale has been stuck in Newfoundland since last fall, frozen and covered with snow for the winter months

A tiny Newfoundland village is hoping to quickly remove the massive body of a humpback whale that has been stuck there since last fall, fearing the impending odour and mess as warmer weather approaches.

The whale’s body was frozen and covered with snow for the winter months in Nameless Cove, but has become an urgent issue for the village.

“The warmer temperatures are coming and you obviously know what’s gonna happen next,” Hank Diamond, a member of the local service district committee, said Wednesday.

“You won’t be able live in that community in the summer, probably, if you don’t move it.”

Nameless Cove is waiting on a price quote from contractors, and Diamond said the community is hoping for provincial assistance to remove the sizable creature that he estimates to be 25-30 feet.

“It would take a fairly fair sized vessel to move that off the beach even at high tide, you know, and it seems to be settling in the sand more, so it’s gonna be harder and harder to get outta there, and it’s starting to rot.”

The body is in close proximity to some residences, wharves, and is less than 100 metres from a graveyard.

The beach is also a tourist attraction for its proximity to Flowers Island. The whale’s body is currently in the line of vision for anyone hoping to snap a photo of the island’s famed lighthouse.

Diamond reached out to Service NL after Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) told Nameless Cove the removal of the whale carcass is the municipality’s responsibility.

In an e-mailed statement, Service NL said it is working with the district and ”the whale will have to be moved and disposed of, either by towing it to a more secluded location to decompose or by burial.”

Dead smelly whales are not uncommon an issue for seaside Newfoundlanders: Last June, a dead humpback was lifted by crane in Outer Cove, N.L., and taken to a disposal site.

But small communities like Nameless Cove, armed with tiny boats and a population under 100 people in northern Newfoundland, are faced with a difficult task when whales wash ashore.

Diamond said DFO officials visited the site last fall to assess the beached whale, leading many locals to believe they would return to remove the body in the spring. Then villagers were surprised and upset when DFO told them it fell outside the department’s responsibility.

“It’s like Russian roulette, whatever community it lands on, it’s on you,” Diamond said.

So far, Diamond said the response from Service NL has been encouraging. But the town needs to move fast on the difficult removal, with or without the government’s help.

“If they support it or if they don’t, it’s got to move,” said Diamond. “We’ll see to it I guess.”

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

115 new wildfires burning across B.C. due to 19,000 lightning strikes

More fires expected to start today, says BC Wildfire Service officials

RDOS board investigates using Penticton admin building

Regional elected officials voted to have new board look at feasibility of a joint admin building

Severe thunderstorm watch issued for the Okanagan

Possible rainfall rates of up to 25 milimetres in one hour.

Penticton Art Gallery auction ranges from the iconic to the obscure

The Penticton Art Gallery is holding it’s largest fundraiser of the year June 28.

Mercury rises in the Okanagan-Shuswap

Temperatures reach about 36 C with humidex in the Okanagan and Shuswap

VIDEO: B.C.’s ‘unicycle cowboy’ aspires to be rancher one day

Burklan Johnson has only ridden a horse once, but this unicyclist has big plans to become a cowboy.

Housing would cut number of B.C.’s vulnerable re-admitted to hospital: study

New SFU work shows just how costly frequent hospitalization is to the province’s health care system

Okanagan dazzles in best 100 list for outdoor dining

The Okangan snagged 12 spots on the list

Disney production filming at Government House on Vancouver Island

Made-for-TV movie will feature the inside of the Victoria mansion

3 dead after semi-truck collides with car on B.C. Interior highway

Police said the intersection between Highway 97 and Highway 99 would remain closed for some time

Crown appeals B.C. polygamous leader’s acquittal in child bride case

James Oler had been charged with taking his underage daughter to the U.S. to marry her off

Keep your pets safe while driving

ICBC and SPCA join forces on pet safety awareness initiative

Reports of explosion in Okanagan turn out to be squirrel vs. power line

The noise was described as ‘similar to a shotgun blast’ that shook the Earth

A look at what Canadian teams might do in the 1st round of the NHL draft

Montreal, Ottawa, Vancouver and Edmonton in top 10 of upcoming draft

Most Read