A woman walks her dog past a dead young male fin whale that washed up Monday between the Paradise Cove and Point Dume areas of Malibu, Calif. on Thursday, Dec. 6, 2012. The rotting carcass near celebrity homes is causing a gigantic cleanup problem as authorities try to decide who's responsible for getting rid of it. Los Angeles County lifeguards planned to try to pull the 40,000-pound carcass out to sea, perhaps at high tide Thursday, said Cindy Reyes, executive director of the California Wildlife Center.( AP Photo/Nick Ut)
Sunday, December 09, 2012 5:30 am
Crew tows whale carcass in Malibu out to sea
By RAQUEL MARIA DILLONAssociated Press
The remains of the 40,000-pound fin whale were towed Saturday about 20 miles from shore by a crew hired by a homeowners' association, Los Angeles County Fire Inspector Brian Riley said.
The 40-foot-long juvenile male washed ashore Monday near Point Dume, attracting onlookers who wandered down the narrow beach to look at the remains - white bones, rolls of blubber and the tail flukes trailing along the water's edge. Massive estates line the cliffs high above the beach.
Jonsie Ross, marine mammal coordinator for the California Wildlife Center, said an inspection of the whale's injury suggests it was hit by a ship.
No government agency took action to remove the decomposing whale, and it appeared the job would be left to Mother Nature.
The prospect frustrated James Respondek, who worried that the carcass would draw sharks and pose a threat to his young daughter, who swims in the cove, and to his favorite surfing spot down the beach.
"There seems to be no readiness to take responsibility, to take action, just a lot of excuses. `I don't have a boat, I don't have the money, I don't have the resources,' they all told me," he said Friday.
The Fire Department's lifeguards patrol beaches in Malibu, but the homeowners' association did not take their offer to assist with the towing, Riley said.
Fin whales are endangered, and about 2,300 live along the West Coast. They're the second-largest species of whale after blue whales and can grow up to 85 feet, weigh up to 80 tons and live to be 90 years old.