25 tonnes of rotting whale flesh
A 25-TONNE whale carcass is causing a major stink on one of Fraser Island's most popular swimming beaches - but the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service says it can't do anything about it.
The 13-metre humpback has been rotting away since it washed up on Waddy Point about a week ago.
With summer holidays only weeks away and the rotting flesh becoming more putrid, Fraser Island locals are adamant the whale is removed - and fast.
“It's foul,” said Penny Carson, manager of Waddy Lodge Fraser Island. “It's right outside and when the wind comes in our direction we cop the full stench of it. What's worse is it's starting to break up. It's not healthy.”
Peter Wright, QPWS operations manager, said moving the carcass would require a tug boat or a large excavator, which could cost thousands of dollars.
“The animal is in a remote and inaccessible location and is therefore impossible to remove.
“In remote locations rarely visited by people, public funds are better invested in broader conservation initiatives that protect the general whale population.”
The department may take action, however, if the carcass started washing on to the populated beach foreshore.
A Maryborough fisherman who came across the carcass at the weekend said he could smell it from more than five kilometres away.
“We first saw it on Friday when it was still partially in the water and you could see the sharks eating it,” he said.
“The next day it was right up on the sand.”
Ms Carson said if the whale could not be removed it should at least be buried.
“Can you imagine if a whale like this landed in Hervey Bay? It would have been removed straight away.
“Because we're in a more remote spot we've been put into the too hard basket. It should be buried at least.”
Members of the public can report any stranded or dead whales on 1300 130 372.