Humpback whale carcass washes up near Samurai Beach, Port Stephens

UPDATE, 5.55pm:

IT stinks, it is probably attracting a few large sharks and it is not going anywhere, any time fast.

The rotting carcass of juvenile male humpback whale is proving a headache for authorities after it washed up at a remote part of Port Stephens rocky coast on Monday and has refused to move on.

Warnings have now been issued about possible increased shark activity after the 11-metre long carcass, which already has massive chunks ripped off it from sharks, came ashore near Rocky Point – between Samurai and Fingal beaches.

News of the carcass floating offshore had some Port Stephens residents on the lookout since the weekend.

Resident Dave McKinnon and a friend were out fishing when they discovered the rotting remains between Big Rocky and Samurai Beach on Monday.

“It was not huge, I would say it is more of a younger humpback,’’ he said.

“You can see where the sharks had been chomping away at the belly.

“Oh my, it stunk.

“We nudged the boat right up against it and the smell almost clung to the side of the boat and wouldn’t leave us – we were dry-wretching.’’

The NSW Department of Primary industries urged beachgoers to be cautious of entering the water near where the whale has washed ashore.

‘’There is increased shark activity around this area,’’ a spokeswoman said.

A National Parks and Wildlife spokesman said the area was inaccessible by land.

“The size and location of the juvenile humpback whale carcass make its disposal challenging,’’ the spokesman said.

“The location of the carcass also makes moving it by sea difficult.

“NPWS will review the situation over the coming days and continue to liaise with the local surf club.’’

One of the problems with towing it back out to sea include concerns about the rotting carcass breaking up into smaller chunks before being washed back into popular areas across Port Stephens.

It has also proven to be difficult to keep it offshore, with similar operations failing miserably across Australia and overseas.

It is unclear why the whale died or exactly how long it has been dead for and an autopsy is difficult because of its location.

It is not the first carcass to have washed up on Hunter beaches, with a rare beaked whale found dead on Redhead Beach in 2014.

It was taken away and buried in landfill.

And an 11.5-metre sperm whale attracted enormous crowds when he washed up on Bar Beach in 2010.

That massive carcass was buried under the sand at Bar Beach before it skeleton re-emerged during massive seas two years later.

EARLIER:

WARNINGS have been issued about possible increased shark activity after a humpback whale carcass washed up at Port Stephens.

The carcass, which had chunks ripped off it from sharks, came ashore near Rocky Point – between Samurai and Fingal beaches – on Monday.

News of the carcass floating offshore had some Port Stephens residents on the lookout since the weekend.

Resident Dave McKinnon and a friend were out fishing when they discovered the carcass between Big Rocky and Samurai Beach on Monday.

“It was not huge, I would say it is more of a younger humpback,’’ he said.

“You can see where the sharks had been chomping away at the belly.

“Oh my, it stunk.

“We nudged the boat right up against it and the smell almost clung to the side of the boat and wouldn’t leave us – we were dry-wretching.’’

Comment was being sought from Department of Environment and Heritage about how the whale carcass may be disposed of, with the area not readily accessible by land.

It is not the first carcass to have washed up on Hunter beaches, with a rare beaked whale found dead on Redhead Beach in 2014.

And an 11.5-metre sperm whale attracted enormous crowds when he washed up on Bar Beach in 2010.

This story Whale carcass washes up | photos first appeared on Newcastle Herald.