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Whale watching at Joppa

A dead sperm whale or cachalot [Physeter macrocephalus] was found washed up on the shore at Joppa early on 11 January 2014. It had been dead for some time. It was not possible for the council to remove the body from the water at Joppa, so it was towed away the next day (12 Jan. 2014) by the ‘Forth Fighter’, a workboat from Burntisland, to a deep water harbour in Fife. The information is that it could be lifted out and taken to a Scottish Marine Animal Stranding Scheme LinkExternal link facility at Dunbar [see below], where a post-mortem examination to determine the cause of death may be done, depending on how much decomposition has occurred. The removal was on a fine Sunday morning, so attracted quite an audience – over the period Police Scotland, Coastguard, Scottish SPCA, Whale and Dolphin Conservation and British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR) were at the scene.
From a Facebook post from the Scottish Marine Animal Stranding Scheme ‘It is thought to have stranded in the early hours of Saturday morning but due to logistical difficulties of recovering it from that site, it was taken back out to sea .…and towed to Burntisland ….it was lifted out.. and taken to Dunbar for disposal. A necropsy was performed.… at the Viridor landfill site on Monday. The animal was too decomposed for a full set of diagnostic tests, but death due to trauma, such as a boat strike, was ruled out…..there was evidence of feeding….with over a kilo of squid beaks in its stomach and intestine. The animal appeared to be in good nutritional state. It was a sub-adult male 14m long and weighed just over 26 t. LinkExternal link
by M J Richardson

Created: Sun, 12 Jan 2014, Updated: Thu, 16 Jan 2014


16 images use this description:

NT3273 : Heading for Burntisland by M J Richardson
NT3273 : Whale at Joppa by M J Richardson
NT3273 : Just afloat by M J Richardson
NT3273 : Setting up the tow by M J Richardson
NT3273 : Whale watchers at Joppa by M J Richardson
NT3273 : 'Forth Fighter' with sperm whale by M J Richardson
NT3273 : Ready to go! by M J Richardson
NT3273 : Sperm whale at Joppa by M J Richardson
NT3273 : Briggs' 'Forth Fighter' by M J Richardson
NT3273 : Collection complete! by M J Richardson
NT3273 : Dead-whale watching at Joppa by M J Richardson
NT3273 : Life [and death] on the seashore by M J Richardson
NT3273 : Whale, from the promenade at Joppa by M J Richardson
NT3273 : Dead sperm whale by M J Richardson
NT3273 : Whale under tow by M J Richardson
NT3273 : Whale aweigh, and away by M J Richardson


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