J Bay whale carcass prompts shark warning

BE CAUTIOUS: The carcass of what is believed to be a southern right whale such as this, has washed ashore at Jeffreys Bay, raising the alarm of a possible increase in shark activity
Image: RAGGY CHARTERS/LLOYD EDWARDS

A possible spike in shark activity due to a whale carcass having washed ashore in Jeffreys Bay has prompted a warning from the National Sea Rescue Institute.

Issuing the warning on Friday, NSRI spokesperson Craig Lambinon said the carcass, believed to be that of a southern right whale, had washed ashore in the Kabeljous area.

“We are appealing to bathers, surfers and paddlers to be cautious along the Jeffreys Bay coastline,” Lambinon said.

“Also the coastline between Tsitsikamma and Port Elizabeth.

“A whale carcass washed ashore usually attracts increased shark activity.

“While no increased shark activity has been witnessed at this stage, it is normal for that to happen,” he said.

Lambinon’s alert comes about a month after a similar warning was issued by marine biologist and regional stranding co-ordinator Dr Grey Hofmeyr in relation to a whale carcass at Sardinia Bay.

The carcass of the emaciated immature humpback stranded on the beach about 1km west of the Sardinia Bay car park, close to the surf line.

Hofmeyr, who examined the dead humpback at the time, said oils were likely leaching out of the rotting carcass into the surf, and would possibly attract sharks.

 

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