(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

It’s the last day to vote in B.C.’s referendum on electoral reform

Ballots must now be dropped off in person to meet the deadline of 4:30 p.m.

North Coast First Nation chief says one major oil spill could ruin economy forever

Chief Marilyn Slett of Heiltsuk Nation near Bella Bella is leading a delegation in Ottawa this week

How to decide what to vote for in B.C.’s referendum on electoral reform

Ballots are due at Elections BC on Friday, Dec. 7, at 4:30 p.m.

Northern Health investigates racist posts of possible employee

Facebook comments call for segregated health authorities

Lawyer for Chinese exec detained by Canada says it’s ‘inconceivable’ she would flee

Meng Wanzhou was detained at the request of the U.S. during a layover at the Vancouver airport

Federal government plans examination of coerced sterilization

The Liberals have been pressed for a rapid response to recent reports on the sterilizations

Huitema, Cornelius named 2018 Canadian Youth International Players of the Year

Huitema was captain of Canada’s fourth-place team at this year’s FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup

Canada not slowing emissions from oil and gas: environmental groups

New report released at the United Nations climate talks in Poland

Liberal Party moves Trudeau fundraiser from military base

The fundraiser is scheduled for Dec. 19, with tickets costing up to $400

Pipeline protesters arrested at B.C. university

Three protesters were arrested after TRU property allegedly vandalized with red paint

Goodale to ‘examine’ transfer of Rafferty to medium-security prison

Michael Rafferty was sentenced to life in prison in 2012 in the kidnapping, sexual assault and first-degree murder of Tori Stafford

‘Abhorrent’ condition of autistic B.C. boy shows flaws in care system: report

‘Charlie’ was underweight and ‘covered in feces’ when he was removed from his mom’s care

Minister appoints former CIRB chair to resolve Canada Post labour dispute

Postal workers engaged in weeks of rotating walkouts

Most Read