Whale carcass will remain onshore another day

David Schofield
David Schofield
Eddie Rothman
Eddie Rothman

By Zahid Arab - bio | email

KAHUKU POINT (KHNL) - It's back to the drawing board for crews attempting to move a ten ton sperm whale carcass that washed up on a rocky shore near Kahuku point two weeks ago.

Swimmers, surfers or sunbathers, a shoreline is important, especially for property owners.

Kahuku residents say when it comes to removing the whale carcass, speed is important, but safety is a priority.

The plan's in place, the crews are standing by, but the process to remove this stinky ten-ton sperm whale carcass has hit a snag.

"It's like a big bar of soap it's very slippery," said David Schofield with NOAA Fisheries. "It's very oily and it's tough to get anything around it."

Chopper 8 spots crews and Hawaii Pacific University volunteers lending a hand. This was all supposed to take a few hours.

Eddie Rothman who owns the property nearby says the Department of Land and Natural Resources' plan to drag the whale across the reef, cut it up into pieces and bury them nearby would only attract unwanted visitors. Sharks have already been spotted nearby.

"Where are they going to go? They're going to stay here," said Rothman. "We don't need all these sharks here our kids, I've got three kids who go in the water everyday."

"If they take it back out to sea, the sharks go with it," said Rothman. "They take it 150-miles off the islands, the sharks will stay out there."

Already in an advanced state of decomposition, experts say if they try to drag the whale, they're afraid it will just fall apart. Crews will now try to lift the carcass to the beach with a crane.

"We've chosen to back up, be safe and bring in the right equipment to do this," said Schofield.

With a sense of urgency and safety, crews will have to wait at least another day for more equipment to arrive. Answering the prayers of neighbors nearby and their waves of whale worries.

Part of the reason why crews say the process is taking so long is the carcass' location.

They say given it's position along the rocks, they can't think of a worse place for the whale's body to have washed up.