Beached Gray Whale Removal and Repositioning in Santa Cruz


 | June 19, 2020

Reposted from Sean Van Sommeran‘s YouTube post

An estimated 30’ft long young adult gray whale (E. robustus) was washed onto the rocks at Lighthouse Point near Surf Museum and Steamer Lane on Weds morning. Life Guards and public safety agencies promptly organized removal of the large carcass from the surf zone and temporarily stationed it for immediate relocation for further investigation and research purposes by well known MBARI and associates. MBARI has experience and excellent equipment to optimize the opportunity for further research into ‘whale fall’ and deep sea exploration.

There were no obvious indication regarding cause of death, no evidence of entanglement or debris, vessel strike or orca predation or shark bites.

Subsequent to removal and temporary relocation the whale has been under observation and sharks were observed feeding on the whale carcass and orbiting nearby as some members of the public periodically paddled out to the whale to get a closer look and make contact with the carcass for recreational purposes and curiosity. The public is being reminded to not tamper with or make contact with or at all play with the dead whale and is advised to use caution and improved judgement in regards to such behavior.

Molesting or otherwise making tampering or disturbing the carcass is a illegal with restrictions in place in effort to prevent accidents and assure public safety and protect evidence and specimens covered by these wildlife regulations. More information pending as more information becomes available in keeping with the process and planning currently underway since Weds.

Drone pilot and videographer Ernest Smith Project director Sean Van Sommeran Pelagic Shark Research Foundation Learn more:

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  1. Maybe heavy metals from Fukushima nuclear waste which are devastating the Pacific, or too much acid from algal bloom?

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