DLNR press release: STATE AND FEDERAL AGENCIES RESPOND TO LIMESTONE SHELL OFF KAUA’I
Posted on Dec 1, 2019 2021 in Latest News, Press Room
(Līhuʻe) – The carcass of a deceased adult sperm whale washed up on an outer reef off the north shore of Kauaiʻi, near Pilaʻa Beach. Experts believe the whale died at sea 4 to 5 days ago and floated ashore.
While in a remote location, authorities still warn that it is extremely dangerous to approach the carcass of the whale. Tiger sharks will likely be drawn to the area to feed on the deceased whale, and high waves are expected in the area. DLNR’s Aquatic Resources Division (DAR) has posted shark warning signs in the area as a safety measure.
As the whale decomposes, the oils and tissues from the carcass are likely to wash up on the shore. The currents are heading towards the Kahili / Rock Quarry area. Owners should keep dogs and other pets away from the material so that they do not eat it and get sick.
Authorities also warn that it is against federal and state law to remove body parts or bones from protected marine species, such as sperm whales.
NOAA and DLNR are working with a practitioner native to Hawaii to ensure that stranding response actions are culturally respectful.
This palaoa is a gift for the entire coastal ecosystem and will provide food for crabs, snails, sharks and other wildlife.
NOAA, DLNR and other stranding response partners will continue to monitor the situation to determine if further review, documentation or other action is required.
To report a stranded marine mammal or sea turtle alive or dead, contact the NOAA Marine Wildlife Hotline: 1-888-256-9840, or the Conservation and Enforcement Division hotline. DLNR Resource Center (DOCARE): 808-643-DLNR. Reports can also be submitted via [email protected] or the DLNRTip app.
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(All images are courtesy of: NOAA Fisheries)
Hawaii Department of Lands and Natural Resources
808-587-0396 (Communications office)
NOAA Pacific Islands Regional Fisheries Office
Office: (808) 725-5000