12/01/21-STATE AND FEDERAL AGENCIES RESPOND TO SPERM WHALE CARCASS OFF KAUA’IPosted on Dec 1, 2021 in Aquatic Resources, Main, Media, News Releases, Shark, slider, Whale
|DAVID Y. IGE
SUZANNE D. CASE
For Immediate News Release: December 1, 2021
STATE AND FEDERAL AGENCIES RESPOND TO SPERM WHALE CARCASS OFF KAUA’I
(Līhuʻe) – The carcass of a deceased adult sperm whale has washed up on an outer reef off the north shore of Kauaiʻi, near Pilaʻa Beach. Experts believe the whale died at sea four to five days ago and floated ashore.
While in a remote location, officials still caution that it is extremely unsafe to go anywhere near the whale carcass. Tiger sharks will likely be drawn to the area to feed on the deceased whale, and high surf is expected for the area. The DLNR Division of Aquatic Resources (DAR) has posted shark warning signs in the area, as a safety precaution.
As the whale decomposes, oils and tissue from the carcass will likely wash ashore. Currents are moving toward the Kahili/Rock Quarry area. Owners should keep dogs and other pets away from the material, so they donʻt eat it and get sick.
Officials also caution that it is against both federal and state law to remove any body parts or bones from protected marine species, like sperm whales.
NOAA and DLNR are working with a Native Hawaiian practitioner to help ensure stranding response actions are culturally respectful.
This palaoa is a gift to the overall coastal ecosystem and will provide nourishment for crabs, snails, sharks, and other wildlife.
NOAA, DLNR, and other stranding response partners will continue monitoring the situation to determine if any further examination, documentation, or other actions are necessary.
To report a live or dead stranded marine mammal or sea turtle, contact the NOAA Marine Wildlife Hotline at 1-888-256-9840.
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NOAA Fisheries Pacific Islands Regional Office
Office: (808) 725-5000