Humpback whale carcass washes inshore at Kaena Point

Photo: NOAA
Photo: NOAA

The state reports Monday that the carcass of a badly decomposed humpback whale has washed inshore at Kaena State Park Reserve and hikers and ocean users are being advised to stay out of the water in the area and away from the carcass.

All marine mammals are protected under state and federal law and people should not approach them dead or alive.

Officers from the DLNR Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement (DOCARE), in cooperation with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Marine Fisheries Service, are in the process of determining how and if to remove the carcass.

It was first reported in shore about halfway between the Keawaula section of the park and the Kaena Point Lighthouse. As of Monday afternoon, DOCARE officers report the whale carcass is washing around in a small cove. The area is steep, rocky, and experiencing high surf with heavy wave action.

While no sharks have been spotted in the area, DLNR is warning ocean users to stay out of the water, since the carcass may attract sharks.

The dead whale’s movements are being monitored while officials are deciding whether it is prudent to try and tow the carcass out to sea or leave it in place for now.

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