Friday, August 20, 2010

Baby Humpback Needs Help

This whale is dying in front of me and maybe in the morning, at dawn when we go back out to pick up the nets, it will be dead. I rang Fisheries in a teary funk and asked Brad what the hell they were doing about it, this Humpback baby dying on a raft of weed in the middle of the harbour in the middle of town.
He told me DEC have known about it for three days. It's been stuck there, dying for days while people wonder what kind of paperwork or gelignite they need. In the mean time, they've put markers around it, in a "this vehicle has been reported" style.
It breathed in my face. It's skin is peeling off in the sun. I poured buckets of water over it's tattered skin and the whale shook its tail. It wants to get off that bank but the tide is so low. I think what I am finding so offensive and upsetting is that the whale must be suffering and nobody is doing anything to ease its pain or hasten its death.
Is that alright? Should we just leave it alone?
Don't baby whales make mistakes sometimes? Maybe we could assume it's just fucked up and gotten wedged on a sand bank in the middle of the harbour - not gone there to die because it was already sick. Anyway, after all the dithering, now it's really sick. In a harbour full of tug boats. I just don't get it.


  1. Expletive! You know it IS distressing.

    It's like that Raymond Carver, story "So Much Water So Close to Home"...

    What the hell is happening there?

    There was a mass dolphin stranding in the Tarkine here not long ago...and volunteers, marine biologists and scientists from all over Australia appeared to help.

    Send your great pics and a story or letter to the main dailies in Australia esp. cities like Melbourne and Sydney where it will get a reaction. Unlike there.

    If you want me to write anything about it, will do.

    Good luck!!!

  2. Oh...I did read that if a SR whale is separated from mother in first year it has little chance of surviving...though here the Marine Research Team would still respond.

  3. Thanks Tom, Sontag I will write something for my next post this afternoon and you are welcome to use it and send it where you like.
    Thanks for your comments. I think that is what happened to this baby whale.

  4. It's just so hard not to identify with this poor creature - separated from its mother, alone and dying. Poor you having to witness it. It's just such a strong instinct to want to help isn't it?