State to tow whale carcass away

Posted by on Fri, August 19, 2005

The Merc has a good story on the confusion about who is responsible for the smelly job of disposing of the dead whale on the beach in Half Moon Bay.

The National Marine Fisheries Service said it was supposed to collect data on the dead whale, not arrange for its disposal. Half Moon Bay officials noted the whale was still in the water—outside the city’s jurisdiction. They hoped the state Department of Parks and Recreation would take it.

Roy Stearns, deputy director of communications for the state parks, said he asked his local ranger about the situation and was told, "Gee, if it were on our land we’d be forced to take responsibility for it. Thankfully, it’s not.’‘

Thursday afternoon, the state agreed to tow the thing to deeper waters, and turn it over to the harbor master, who will relay it to a shark research center.  They, presumably, will turn it over to the sharks.

So, we can have literally tons of horse manure on that beach but not one naturally occurring whale?

Great story, I especially liked the video of what happened up in Oregon.  At any rate, it is Friday Aug. 19 and the whale, or what is left of it, is still on the beach…

Comment 3
Mon, August 22, 2005 5:27pm
All my comments

Why insist that “someone must be responsible” for a “cleaning up” this natural event?  A more interesting story would examine how we deal with the less savory aspects of living with nature.  Nutrient recycling is part of the system; we just don’t get to see it on this scale that often!