A LIVE Humpback whale which washed up at Honeysuckles on Ninety Mile Beach near Seaspray has been euthanised.

Rodney Vile, principal officer wildlife emergencies at Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) said: “The Humpback whale is 10 metres long and was first reported on Monday by members of the community, with DELWP and Parks Victoria staff heading straight out to investigate.”

“The highest priority of crews and agencies working together at the site on Monday was caring for the welfare of the whale,” he said.

“The whale was assessed and cared for by veterinarians from Zoos Victoria and found to be in very poor condition.

“Due to the whale’s condition, euthanasia was the only option to respond humanely to this event.”

The whale was euthanised late Monday evening.

An exclusion zone has been established around the whale while DELWP considers all options for managing the carcass.

It is an offence for people or their dogs to be within 300 metres of a whale.

Whales are protected under the Wildlife Act – regardless of whether they are dead or alive. It is an offence for a person to approach, interfere, take or be in possession of parts of a dead whale.

DELWP is working with the relevant agencies to monitor the carcass and determine management options going forward. Cultural Heritage specialists from DELWP, in partnership with Gunaikurnai Land and Waters Aboriginal Corporation (GLaWAC), are assisting in management advice for the carcass.

The public are urged to exercise caution as sharks may be present in higher concentration and closer to the shore than normal. A shark warning has been put in place for the local area. Keep informed of the latest information on the VicEmergency website and app.

For more information on staying safe around sharks, go to vfa.vic.gov.au/shark-smart.

Stay informed at emergency.vic.gov.au.