Why huge whale carcass will be taken to Lismore tip
THE 54-tonne carcass of a sperm whale will be removed from Patchs Beach today to be taken to the Lismore tip.
A Soil Conservation Service spokesman said the 17m carcass of the male marine mammal will be moved today.
Lismore City Council confirmed the 54-tonne carcass will be put into landfill.
Two bulldozers were used on Tuesday to move the carcass to the sand dunes and above the high tide mark
Vice president of the Organisation for the Rescue and Research of Cetaceans in Australia (ORRCA), Jools Farrell, explained the reason for that decision.
"That's what is done with marine mammals that pass away and wash up on beaches," she said.
"In the past they used to be towed out to sea, but they had to stop doing that because it creates a navigational hazard.
"A person in a small boat or a tinny out in the sea, if they come in contact with a full blown carcass floating in the water, that would send people into the water. And that has happened in the past."
Ms Farrell said 95 per cent of the time the whale carcass will wash out somewhere else.
"It can take weeks or months for a whale to sink to the bottom of the ocean, and that's the last thing authorities want, a whale carcass ending up near a popular beach, while attracting sharks, who normally clean the oceans," she said.
The ORRCA vice president said whale carcasses were not buried in sand dunes or beaches due to possible health and safety risks for people who visited those areas.
Bundjalung woman Regina Moran was overseeing the operations because the whale was located within Dubay Nurahm Aboriginal Area.
"Our biggest concern is not disturbing the ground, because this was a massacre site, so we are really mindful of disturbing the sand dunes, which are already destroyed by 4WD cars coming down to the beach," she said.
"For us this is a historical moment, because we haven't got a whale in our beach for more than 70 years."
She said it was better for it not to be buried at the beach.