Trout River looks to province for help in removing blue whale

Diane
Diane Crocker
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A dead blue whale is seen on the beach in Trout River.

The Town of Trout River is looking for help in dealing with a dead blue whale that washed up on the town’s beach.

Town clerk/manager Emily Butler said by phone Tuesday afternoon that the town is lobbying the provincial government and has been in contact with both the Department of Environment and Service NL.

“Until we get some definite answers back, this still remains a situation that we haven’t been given a final solution on,” she said.

Butler said removal of the whale could be costly, but the call for help is not about the town trying to get money out of the provincial or federal governments.

“This is about the fact that this whale is blowing up on the beach, it has gases trapped inside of it,” she said of the concerns over the hazard the nearly 85-foot long and 80-tonne animal creates.

Butler said the first thought was to ask local fishermen to tow it away with a longliner.

“I’m not willing to take on the responsibility,” she said. “If that whale does explode, we don’t know what danger that would be to our infrastructure, the longliner itself, or to people.”

Added to that is the concern the whale, in it’s current inflated state, could interfere with navigation.

But with tourism season fast approaching, she said the town is worried about the impact it could have on businesses.

“We have a number of businesses down on the waterfront there that certainly don’t want to be seeing this much longer because of the smell and the safety concern.”

Butler said the whale is creating a lot of interest within and outside the community.

She said the phone at the town hall has been ringing off the hook with people calling wanting to come to the town and have their picture taken with the whale.

And she’s really fearful of people going around it, and getting up on it, because of the possibility it may explode or the unknown diseases or germs it could carry.

However, she said the town won’t barricade the area.

“It is a public area ... but in our opinion if we were to barricade this area off we would be assuming responsibility for it.”

Organizations: Environment and Service NL

Geographic location: Trout River

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  • DAvid
    April 30, 2014 - 12:01

    WHY DO WE PAY TAXES? Its both ironic and inappropriate that a stranded dead animal becomes the symbol for an abandoned town. Ignored by health authorities, fisheries departments, buck passed, paralyzed by inter governmental inaction children remain at risk, while the local economy is suffering and no one cares to do a thing. Why do we pay taxes?

  • Henry
    April 30, 2014 - 10:11

    As far as I am concerned this is a Federal and or Provincial responsibility. Who regulates the beaches and sea life? Governments off loading responsibilities again on small communities who can least afford the expenditure. Oh, but no problem for provincial conservatives to print copy of their budget highlights and mail to householders to outline their budgets at taxpayer expense. Mine ended up in the garbage can, didn't even read it...