A dead whale that washed into rocks at Bulli beach, north of Wollongong on the New South Wales South Coast, is attracting many onlookers and photographers, drawn to catch a glimpse of the sharks feeding on it.
The whale, believed to be a humpback, washed into rocks on Thursday afternoon, just north of Bulli Point.
The large mature sharks were already feeding off the carcass before it made its way to shore.
Anthony Turner from Surf Lifesaving Illawarra said although the beaches are technically closed, they have advised nearby surf clubs not to allow people to train or go in the ocean.
« We have contacted Thirroul, Sandon Point, Bulli and Woonona just to tell their members not to train or do any paddling or swimming over the next few days and don’t enter the water, » he said.
Wollongong’s Lord Mayor, Gordon Bradbery, said council lifeguards are also working with the National Parks and Wildlife Service to remove the whale.
« It sounds like the sharks might have done their job well before its reached the rocks. »
The plan is now to tow the carcass to the Bellambi boat ramp, where it can be removed from the water, then it will be transported to a Wollongong waste facility.
The council has placed temporary « shark danger » warning signs in the area and people are advised to stay out of the water between Sandon Point and Bellambi Point.
The last time a dead whale washed up in the Illawarra region was at Sandon Point, also near Bulli, 10 years ago, while a baby humpback was beached at North Wollongong in July 2018 but did not survive.
The large number of sharks has unnerved surfers coming just days after 46-year-old Nick Slater died while surfing at Greenmount on the Gold Coast, when a shark mauled his leg.
Despite a number of well documented shark attacks in the Illawarra, there are no deaths involving swimmers, surfers or divers in recent memory.
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