How Do You Dispose Of A Beached Whale In New Jersey?
Sadly, another dead whale just washed up on the beach here at the Jersey Shore, this time in Atlantic City. Some experts say it is due to rough waters and recent storms although Clean Ocean Action was among 5 groups called in to see why six dead whales washed up on our shores in the last 33 days. The last time I checked, whales are pretty good swimmers so pollution seems more likely don't you think?
This is the second time in two weeks that a humpback whale has washed up, both over 30 feet long and weighing well over 25 tons each.
That had me wondering, how in the world do you clean up something of that sheer size? You can’t just leave it there, so what exactly is the process?
After some research, it turns out that there are a few ways to handle such a monumental task, and yes, some ways are better than others.
What A Blast
Let's start with the most ineffective way of dealing with a washed-up whale carcass. We learned the hard way that blowing up the remains is not good. The idea behind this was to give the seagulls a big lunch by blasting the whale into little bites. That is not exactly what happened. After the whale was stuffed with dynamite and detonated, fat ended up raining down on beachgoers with one large chunk actually bashing in a locally parked car over a half mile away. So, yeah, we don’t do that anymore.
Another way is to compost it. Apparently, they make very smelly but great compost. However, getting it to a compost location is the challenge. It is such a huge undertaking (literally) that we usually don’t go this route either.
Back To Sea
The most used technique is to drag it back out to sea. This seems right, like a sort of burial. You would think they would float because of all that blubber but in fact they fall down to the bottom of the sea. This is great for the natural cycle of things since the whale becomes food for other ocean creatures. You do run the risk of it beaching again if you do not take it out far enough.
Another way of handling it is to find the manpower and cut it up and put it in the landfill but as you can imagine that is a lot of work.
It is heartbreaking to see such massive glorious creatures wash up on our shores. I hope our environmental agencies can get to the bottom of what is happening!
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