Whale woes wrap up: carcass leaves Outer Cove
DFO-led operation included using ropes, towing and hoisting body onto truck
The rotting whale carcass that stuck around the shores of Outer Cove, Newfoundland for weeks, finally made its way to a waste disposal site, following a precarious day-long effort to remove the dead mammal.
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The efforts on Wednesday had been spearheaded by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans — albeit after Mayor John Kennedy previously criticized various agencies for passing the buck for days while the dead humpback lingered first on the beach, then in the ocean.
Earlier in the day, three boats were out in the water trying to retrieve the dead humpback, which first washed ashore on May 22.
Crews could be seen trying to tie ropes around the 10-tonne whale before attempting to tow it.
A large excavator remained on the beach with a net, and the whale was eventually lifted by a crane and then lowered onto a large truck.
That marked the beginning of its journey to a waste disposal site near Sunnyside and the end of its time in Outer Cove.
For some, like musician Chris Andrews who lives nearby and watched part of Wednesday's operation, the true impact of the whale's stay for weeks remains to be seen.
"Some people are nervous, like the capelin are a big draw for down here and they say it may affect it," he said.
"Also for the fishing, you know, for the limited food fishery that we have, so hopefully it hasn't done too much damage to our great little ecosystem down here."
Andrews isn't the only one raising the alarm on what effects the carcass could have on capelin.
The whale is being lifted onto the truck. So far so good. Pls. Take the darn whale ! <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/cbcnl?src=hash">#cbcnl</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/outercove?src=hash">#outercove</a> <a href="https://t.co/stAMQaDOaR">pic.twitter.com/stAMQaDOaR</a>—@CBCMarkQuinn
Marine researcher Jack Lawson told CBC News two weeks ago that a lot of the whale's fat will emulsify and float off.
"All these oils, they don't dissolve in the water for a long time," he said.
"So the issue is, if you're looking for capelin in a few weeks, they may be tasting a bit like whale fat."
With files from Mark Quinn