(Canadian Press)

Canadian village looks to get rid of massive, long-dead humpback whale

The whale has been stuck in Newfoundland since last fall, frozen and covered with snow for the winter months

A tiny Newfoundland village is hoping to quickly remove the massive body of a humpback whale that has been stuck there since last fall, fearing the impending odour and mess as warmer weather approaches.

The whale’s body was frozen and covered with snow for the winter months in Nameless Cove, but has become an urgent issue for the village.

“The warmer temperatures are coming and you obviously know what’s gonna happen next,” Hank Diamond, a member of the local service district committee, said Wednesday.

“You won’t be able live in that community in the summer, probably, if you don’t move it.”

Nameless Cove is waiting on a price quote from contractors, and Diamond said the community is hoping for provincial assistance to remove the sizable creature that he estimates to be 25-30 feet.

“It would take a fairly fair sized vessel to move that off the beach even at high tide, you know, and it seems to be settling in the sand more, so it’s gonna be harder and harder to get outta there, and it’s starting to rot.”

The body is in close proximity to some residences, wharves, and is less than 100 metres from a graveyard.

The beach is also a tourist attraction for its proximity to Flowers Island. The whale’s body is currently in the line of vision for anyone hoping to snap a photo of the island’s famed lighthouse.

Diamond reached out to Service NL after Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) told Nameless Cove the removal of the whale carcass is the municipality’s responsibility.

In an e-mailed statement, Service NL said it is working with the district and ”the whale will have to be moved and disposed of, either by towing it to a more secluded location to decompose or by burial.”

Dead smelly whales are not uncommon an issue for seaside Newfoundlanders: Last June, a dead humpback was lifted by crane in Outer Cove, N.L., and taken to a disposal site.

But small communities like Nameless Cove, armed with tiny boats and a population under 100 people in northern Newfoundland, are faced with a difficult task when whales wash ashore.

Diamond said DFO officials visited the site last fall to assess the beached whale, leading many locals to believe they would return to remove the body in the spring. Then villagers were surprised and upset when DFO told them it fell outside the department’s responsibility.

“It’s like Russian roulette, whatever community it lands on, it’s on you,” Diamond said.

So far, Diamond said the response from Service NL has been encouraging. But the town needs to move fast on the difficult removal, with or without the government’s help.

“If they support it or if they don’t, it’s got to move,” said Diamond. “We’ll see to it I guess.”

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Transit improvements coming to Kelowna regional system

Improvement include the introduction of real-time information

Okanagan winery gets global recognition

Mission Hill is being recognized as having one of the top vineyard designs in the world.

New KGH parking lot approved

New lot would replace parking stalls to be lost with construction of JoeAnna’s House

Kelowna cannabis producer issued Canada sales license

Flowr Group already approved as B.C. marijuana dispensary supplier

Kelowna council approves 12 goals driving new transportation master plan

Plan looks to “shift away” from what it calls city’s car-centric culture

Average Canadian family spends 43% of income on taxes: study

Fraser Institute’s consumer report shows taxes accounting for larger chunk of income each year

Second measles scare this summer at YVR

An infected traveller flew out of Vancouver’s airport three times

Judge OKs Weinstein suit, cites casting couch’s history

Actress Kadian Noble can sue disgraced Hollywood mogul for violating sex trafficking laws

Employers to raise salaries 2.6% on average next year: report

Firm points to factors such possibility of more trade protectionism, rising interest rates

No growth on the Monashee Complex wildfires

Mabel Creek, Sugar Mountain and Harris Creek fires continue to burn near Lumby and Cherryville

PM Trudeau and federal ministers to meet on Vancouver Island

Cabinet retreat will be held in Nanaimo from Aug. 21-23

Breaking: Trinity Western University changes controversial covenant

Pledge forbidding sexual intimacy outside of marriage to be optional at Langley university: report

Rockets Korczak strikes gold with Team Canada

Kelowna Rockets’ defenceman helps Canadians to title at Hlinka Gretzky Cup in Edmonton

48 sockeye, harbour seal seized from poachers caught on B.C. river

Charges pending after two poachers arrested for salmon fishing at night

Most Read