THE community has been warned to stay away from a remote beach location at Venus Bay after a Pigmy Sperm Whale was washed up on the beach.
Fisheries has issued a warning that the carcass may attract sharks and have warned people from entering the water near the shark.
“The community needs to be aware that there are strict laws protecting whale carcasses including that people cannot go to within 100 metres of a whale carcass or interfere with them in anyway.
“Significant penalties apply.”
Thankfully, said the officer, the whale has beached itself in a remote location, 5km or 6km east of the Venus Bay township.
“We wouldn’t expect even the keenest of pippies’ fishermen to go down there but just in case, we have issued this advice.”
The Fisheries officer said it was a relatively rare event for a Pigmy Sperm Whale to beach itself.
“It’s about 2 metres in length, so its only a small one,” he said.
The area will be constantly monitored by the authorities and the community is discouraged from visiting the site.
The whale was reported on Tuesday, May 26.
The following warning has been posted on the www.emergency.vic.gov.au website: Dangerous Animal – This Advice message is being issued for Tarwin Lower. Due to a whale carcass there could be an increase in shark activity at Tarwin Lower between 5 Mile Track and Arch Rock.
“A whale carcass can attract sharks to the area and mean they are closer to the shore than normal.
“While it is not uncommon for sharks to be present off the Victorian coast, you should exercise additional caution in the area.
“Stay informed and do not enter the water at closed beaches.
“What you should do: If you see sharks report the sighting by calling Triple Zero (000) or notify lifesavers immediately if you are at a patrolled beach.”
Staying safe at nearby beaches:
* Always swim, dive or surf with a friend.
* Swim between the red and yellow flags on patrolled beaches.
* Don’t swim in places where human or animal waste enters the water.
* Keep away from large schools of fish, seals or other wildlife as these can attract sharks.
For more information on staying safe around sharks: www.vfa.vic.gov.au/shark-smart.
Stay informed: www.emergency.vic.gov.au