From Iceland — Beached Whale In Northwest Iceland Sparks Concern

Beached Whale In Northwest Iceland Sparks Concern

Published May 12, 2020

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A sperm whale beached itself in the northwest Iceland region of Skaga, the Northwest Iceland Nature Agency reports. While not in itself an uncommon event—whales do beach themselves regularly in Iceland—what raises the concerns of biologists is the fact that scarcely two months ago, another sperm whale beached itself in the same region.

Bjarni Jónsson, the director of the Northwest Iceland Nature Agency, told RÚV that two sperm whale beachings in the same area in such a short span of time invites further investigation.

“I think we need to look into this further,” he said. “There are usually more small whales that have beached themselves, an unusual amount recently and not least of all white-beaked dolphins, which are in this area. But now there are sperm whales and this is something that demands further explanation.”

Bjarni also points out that the precise location of this latest beaching, Kálfshamarsvík, is not an easy place to access, and is quite popular with outdoors enthusiasts. He believes that it will prove nearly impossible to drag the carcass onto land or bury it; that disposal will require dragging it out to sea and sinking it.

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