Decomposing sperm whale found along Lanai shore

Local News

HONOLULU (KHON2) — Officials are monitoring a stranded adult sperm whale along the waters of Lanai.

The whale was first reported on January 9, 2020.

“The whale is in a location where towing to sea or burial on land is not possible due to its location, weather, and wind action. The whale carcass will be left in place to decompose and will be monitored by the agencies and stakeholders,” said an official from NOAA>

The sperm whale is listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act and the species have depleted under the Marine Mammal Protection Act.  

All marine mammal parts (including bones and teeth) are protected by federal law and should not be removed from the carcass or collected unless authorized. 

Authorities say that it is important that the remains of the sperm whale are untouched to pay the appropriate respect.

NOAA officials also say that there is an ongoing investigation to determine the cause of death.

“For your safety, please keep your distance from the carcass as there is potential for the transfer of disease from the carcass to humans and pets. Large dead whales may provide a food source for predators such as sharks, so heed all warnings about your safety in the water and the potential for sharks in the area,” said NOAA.  

To report marine mammal strandings, call 1-888-256-9840.

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