Rockingham beach closed as 15m sperm whale becomes beached on sandbar

Sperm Whale Beached Rockingham
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DBCA UPDATE 12/12/23: At around 4:30am this morning, DBCA wildlife and marine officers observed the whale had moved 300m away from the sand bar towards Garden Island. After completing an on-water assessment of the whale, we can confirm that sadly, the whale died at approximately 6:30am.

We would just like to say thank you to everyone involved in this incident, including the community. Crews are maintaining a safety perimeter around the whale with additional vessels joining the operation early this afternoon, to assist with moving the carcass to a more secure location in the water, away from the beach. The next stage of the operation will involve removing the carcass out of the water.

After being seen at Port Beach in Fremantle yesterday (with disturbing reports of people climbing on it), a 15m sperm whale has become beached on a sandbar just off Naval Memorial Park beach in Rockingham.

The latest updates from the Parks & Wildlife Service state that marine mammal operations officer John Edwards has undertaken up-close observations of the whale, noting “it is alive and breathing slowly.”

The Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA) has closed the beach to the public until further notice, with Incident Controller Mark Cugly anticipating a multi-day response ahead for operational staff.

Sperm Whale Beached Rockingham

The DBCA has serious concerns for the whale’s condition after it was spotted swimming in circles yesterday, with several physical indications that the 30-tonne whale’s condition was deteriorating.

Although no sharks had been spotted at the time of the update (11.10am), a shark alert has been issued for the area.

More to come.

Image Credit: DBCA