Stinky whale carcass hauled away from Cape Breton beach
The Department of Natural Resources coordinates the removal of a rotting whale carcass in Port Hastings, N.S. on July 10, 2014. (The Department of Natural Resources)
The carcass of a rotting whale has been towed out to sea after it washed ashore in Port Hastings, N.S. last week.
Post-tropical storm Arthur blew the whale onto a beach located a few hundred metres from the Canso Causeway’s swing bridge.
The 14-metre fin whale was beached below the community’s busy visitor information bureau and local residents and visitors had been complaining about the pungent smell.
Local politicians appealed to the provincial and federal governments to take responsibility for the rotting whale, but neither had expressed interest in moving the carcass at first.
Nova Scotia’s Department of Natural Resources said it doesn’t usually deal with marine wildlife, which is the responsibility of Fisheries and Oceans Canada.
However, Fisheries and Oceans Canada said it was only responsible for marine animals found in the water, and not for those on land.
Late Wednesday afternoon, Natural Resources Minister Zach Churchill said, while his department wasn’t responsible for the whale, it would arrange for its removal from the beach.
He said the case was a unique situation, given the whale’s proximity to the public and the warm weather.
“The heat that we’ve had has obviously increased the discomfort for residents and for people coming to and from our tourism bureau, and we’re worried that’s going to impact business going to Cape Breton, so we will be acting and we will be removing the whale from the site,” said Churchill.
The carcass was towed out to sea Thursday morning and will be buried on remote Crown land.