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Australia begins disposal of about 350 dead whales as rescue efforts end


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Australia begins disposal of about 350 dead whales as rescue efforts end

By Colin Packham

 

2020-09-26T070651Z_1_LYNXNPEG8P060_RTROPTP_4_AUSTRALIA-WHALES.JPG

FILE PHOTO: Rescue efforts to save whales stranded on a sandbar take place at Macquarie Harbour, near Strahan, Tasmania, Australia, September 22, 2020. Brodie Weeding/Pool via REUTERS

 

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australian wildlife officials began disposing of hundreds of dead pilot whales on Saturday after concluding there was no longer any hope of rescuing any more.

 

In Australia's biggest whale beaching, 470 whales were first spotted on a wide sandbank during an aerial reconnaissance of rugged Macquarie Harbour in Tasmania state on Monday.

 

After days of difficult and dangerous rescue attempts, Australia said they rescued 108 whales, with the rest now believed to have died.

 

Rob Buck, Incident Controller and Parks and Wildlife Service manager, said 15 whales have already been disposed of at sea, but the operations to dispose of the remaining near 350 mammals was expected to take several days at least.

 

"Collection and disposal is being undertaken with the assistance of aquaculture companies whose equipment and expertise on the harbour is essential for a timely and effective outcome," Buck said in an emailed statement.

 

The bodies of the dead whales were being separated into groups and enclosed with water booms to try keep them in one place and isolated from sharks and other predators.

 

Most of the released whales, a gregarious species that lives in deep waters, were expected to "regroup" and recover from the traumatic event, officials said.

 

(Reporting by Colin Packham; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan)

 

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-- © Copyright Reuters 2020-09-26
 

 

 

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15 hours ago, impulse said:

 

Why?  Put the protein back into the food chain, instead of paying buttloads of money to haul them off and dispose of them.

 

Be interested to know the answer to that too.  Macquarie Harbour and the south west of Tassie in general is one of the most pristine environments on the planet, so maybe there are pollution concerns.

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15 hours ago, impulse said:

 

Why?  Put the protein back into the food chain, instead of paying buttloads of money to haul them off and dispose of them.

 

Recycle/grind up the carcasses and use the output as fertiliser or similar.

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2 hours ago, xylophone said:

Recycle/grind up the carcasses and use the output as fertiliser or similar.

Possibly that is just what the "aquaculture companies" may do and turn it into fish feed for their own stock.

 

From the article:

"Collection and disposal is being undertaken with the assistance of aquaculture companies whose equipment and expertise on the harbour is essential for a timely and effective outcome," Buck said in an emailed statement.

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18 hours ago, impulse said:

 

Why?  Put the protein back into the food chain, instead of paying buttloads of money to haul them off and dispose of them.

 

It may be that this is in a harbour and they dont want sharks to consider it a prime meal time location. 

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