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Public advised to keep distance from Hartland fin whale

PUBLISHED: 15:01 10 March 2017 | UPDATED: 15:06 10 March 2017

Picture: Cheryl Duerden

Picture: Cheryl Duerden

Cheryl Duerden

Members of the public are advised to stay at least 10 metres away from the carcass, which washed ashore on Wednesday evening.

The whale at Hartland Quay looks quite large. Picture: Callum ClarkThe whale at Hartland Quay looks quite large. Picture: Callum Clark

Torridge District Council (TDC) has issued advice to members of the public after a fin whale washed ashore on Hartland Quay.

Both the council and the Cetacean Strandings Investigation Programme (CSIP) have advised the public keep at least 10 metres from the carcass, which washed up on Wednesday evening.

Service manager for waste and recycling, Richard Haste, said the council has carried out further investigations of the situation today (Friday).

The 10-metre-long whale has moved further up the beach following high tides, and is expected to move further over the weekend.

The large whale washed up at Hartland Quay. Picture: Callum ClarkThe large whale washed up at Hartland Quay. Picture: Callum Clark

Signs will be placed at access points to the beach advising the public to keep their distance from the carcass.

Mr Haste advised there was no direct risk to the public from 10 metres, but there is a bio-hazard risk from having direct contact with the carcass, and dog owners are asked to keep their pets on leads.

“High tides are expected over the next three-to-four days and the council will monitor the situation to see if the carcass is taken out to sea by the tides, where it is expected to decompose naturally or can be dealt with more easily,” he said.

“A further strategic review will be conducted on Monday or Tuesday next week or as dictated by the ongoing monitoring.

The fin whale washed up on Hartland Quay.The fin whale washed up on Hartland Quay.

“The Marine and Coastguard Agency have been advised of the council’s plans and have indicated that they may be able to provide further assistance if required”

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