Top News

Northern Peninsula community unsure what to do with beached whale

A humpback whale lays beached in Nameless Cove. - Photo courtesy of Hank Diamond
A humpback whale lays beached in Nameless Cove. - Photo courtesy of Hank Diamond

Whale beached at Nameless Cove in the fall, was frozen through winter

NAMELESS COVE, NL – A beached humpback whale in Nameless Cove is drawing some concern amongst locals with the winter thaw underway.

The whale beached in the Straits community near Flower’s Cove last fall where it has laid ever since, on the point across from Flower’s Island.

The whale froze on the beach over the winter but with the spring thaw setting in, locals are concerned it will start to smell and draw seagulls.

And the softer the whale tissue becomes underneath the sun, the more difficult it may become to move.

The whale beached last fall and froze over the winter. - Photo courtesy of Hank Diamond
The whale beached last fall and froze over the winter. - Photo courtesy of Hank Diamond

“You knows it’s a nuisance, a whale there just outside your door,” Claude Dempster told the Northern Pen.

He says it’s about half a kilometer from his home.

He estimates the whale is about 25-feet long.

“It’s not going to be a nice smell for the community, they’re always trying to keep it cleaned up,” he added. “Get it out of there.”

Hank Diamond, member of the Nameless Cove local service district committee, says they’re figuring anytime soon they are, “going to have a bad mess.”

“People are calling me and asking what’s going to happen with it and that’s a good question,” he said.

According to Diamond, the whale is located in an area popular with tourists in the summertime.

“A lot of people go out on Nameless Cove point and they try to get out as close as they can to Flower’s Island Lighthouse to get a picture, of course,” he said. “And that’s the closest point. They’d be driving right on past that whale.”

Diamond isn’t sure whose responsibility moving the whale would be.

As of May 10, he had reached out to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) but hadn’t received a response.

He said they will be in contact with DFO to see what the plans are going to be to take care of the situation.

The Northern Pen contacted DFO but did not receive a response prior to deadline.

UPDATE: DFO has subsequently informed the Northern Pen it does not have a role in the removal of this whale. The statement reads that if it is within a municipality, the municipality is responsible; if it's on crown land, the government of Newfoundland and Labrador is responsible; or if it's within the boundaries of a National Park, Parks Canada is responsible.

stephen.roberts@northernpen.ca

Recent Stories