Dead whale draws complaints about stench - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Dead whale draws complaints about stench

By Mari-Ela David bio | email

PUNALUU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Air pollution in Punaluu - it's been four days now since a dead whale's been rotting off a Windward Oahu beach.

Nearby residents say the whale smells so bad, it's giving them headaches.

It's an eyesore, attracting flies, and the curious, including a couple, shopping for a home in the area.

What they didn't bargain for is the horrible stench of the dead whale floating in the waters off Punaluu.

"I guess if you took a can of tunafish and opened it up and left it in your hot garage for a week or two, so that's probably as bad as it would smell," said one of the Pearl City residents shopping for a home in the area.

The whale reeks so bad, those sharks Sky News Now spotted last week are now gone - the whale apparently no longer appetizing.

But the predators aren't the only concerns beachfront residents have expressed since Friday, when the carcass was first spotted stuck on reef.

"Our concern is the smell, if it washes up on the beach, the health and hazards it may cause," said Timothy Watson, a Punaluu resident.

In July of 2008, crews removed a dead sperm whale that washed up on Oahu's North Shore in Kahuku.

Ten tons of blubber, lifted with a crane, at one point breaking in half, placed in a container, then buried into a hole, 25 feet deep.

But the fate of the carcass in Punaluu is still in limbo.

The National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is still trying to figure out how to remove it.

Until then, residents are left holding their breath.

Two weeks had passed before crews removed the rotting whale in Kahuku back in 2008.

No word yet, on if that's how long it'll also take NOAA to dispose the carcass in Punaluu.

A spokesperson says she should have more information on their removal plan on Tuesday.

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