Pebble Beach >> It is still not known who exactly would be responsible for removing the dead humpback whale that washed up near Bird Rock on Saturday.
Justin Viezbicke, stranding network coordinator for National Marine Fisheries, said Tuesday the agency has no funding available for removal of whale carcasses. “It always comes down to resources and we don’t have the money for removal,” he said.
If Pebble Beach residents who live in the area would like to have the whale removed, Viezbicke said, they would have to contact the landowner. That, apparently, would be the Pebble Beach Corporation. A spokesman at Pebble Beach Lodge, however, said the Monterey Bay Marine Sanctuary would have jurisdiction.
Calls to the sanctuary office were not returned.
A team from Moss Landing Marine Laboratories took samples from the dead whale to determine the cause of death. Viezbicke said he was not aware of any other necropsy plans by the team.
Jim Harvey, director of Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, said the whale is a female between a year and 2 years old and is between 36- and 40-feet long.
“We have no idea what caused its death,” Harvey said.
He said the whale had shark bites on it, indicating it was dead before washing ashore. The investigating team, a professor and a graduate student, were not able to see any distinguishing marks on the whale’s fluke that would match any identification records. It is resting upside down.
Harvey said he has suggested that National Marine Fisheries set aside a pot of money to pay for removing dead whales. Those funds have run out, he said.
Removing the whale will be expensive,…
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