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The carcass of a sperm whale is towed from Venice beach out to Gulf of Mexico

A dead whale is towed out into the Gulf of Mexico. The whale was stranded offshore a Venice beach Sunday and died Monday morning. Sea Tow of Venice carted the carcass off shore about 15 miles on Tuesday.
Don Hubbard
/
Venice Police Department
A dead whale is towed out into the Gulf of Mexico. The whale was stranded offshore a Venice beach Sunday and died Monday morning.

A necropsy was performed in an attempt to determine cause of illness and death and to better understand sperm whale health, energetics, and life history.

The carcass of sperm whale that became stranded on a sandbar and died Monday off a Venice-area beach has been towed out to sea.

The Sea Tow Venice marine towing service used a heavy towline and rig line provided by the city of Venice to take the whale's remains 10 to 15 miles offshore Tuesday.

Mote Marine Laboratory’s Stranding Hotline was notified of the distressed animal Sunday morning. Mote said the whale was an adult male and in an emaciated condition, weighing about 70,000 pounds and measuring about 44 feet.

 Area of no swimming
WGCU
/
File
Area of no swimming

The response to the whale's situation consisted of a multiagency team of Stranding Network partners, including National Oceanic and Atmospheric AdministrationFisheries Service, Mote Marine, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, University of Florida, Clearwater Marine Aquarium and Sarasota Dolphin Research Project.

The network performed a necropsy Monday and Tuesday. Tissue samples were collected to determine a cause of illness and death and to better understand sperm whale health, energetics and life history.

Mote Marine said information gathered during the necropsy will help to evaluate the long-term mortality trends of these species, especially as it relates to pathology or human-related activities.

Such research data are crucial to species management and conservation, information provided by Mote said, and data from necropsies conducted by Mote’s Stranding Investigations Program are provided to state and federal wildlife managers as part of databases of Stranding Network partners.

The sperm whale is an endangered species, and according to FWC it is illegal to tamper with the carcass.

A "No Swim Advisory" remains in effect from Caspersen Beach to the South Jetty in Sarasota County due to possible increased presence of marine predators drawn by the carcass and blood from the necropsy.

Copyright 2024 WGCU. To see more, visit WGCU.

Michael Braun