Whale causes a stink for park owners
FOOTAGE of great white and tiger sharks feeding on a whale carcass off the Coffs Coast made news across the world, but the dead mammal is now making one business owner infuriated.
The 20 tonne carcass washed up on Sapphire Beach last week and has been buried at the end of Split Solitary Rd - less than 40m from the Sapphire Beach Caravan Park.
The park's owner Dave Berry said the carcass was creating pungent smells which had generated complaints from guests.
"By the time we realised (the whale) was going to be buried here the hole was already dug - we weren't informed," he said.
"The whale is decomposing right next to our entrance and people have to pass it to reach the park.
"When we get a hot day the smell becomes worse and that certainly doesn't bode well for the peak season in summer."
The fenced burial site is situated on public land meaning there is little Dave can do to cover the smell or reduce the visual impact.
The carcass is expected to take more than 12 months to decompose, according to National Parks and Wildlife, who negotiated approval for the site with Coffs Harbour City Council.
Dave said sharks had already been spotted in the water since the burial, and he's concerned the whale's proximity to the beach could attract more predators closer to shore.
National Parks and Wildlife however played down concerns, saying the whale was buried above the sea level and the high tide mark. A spokesman said the carcass' size and weight also limited disposal options.
But it's little solace to Dave who is calling for other options to be considered.
"This is a family run business and we've spent a lot of money over the past seven years improving the park," he said.
"Surely you'd think there'd be more suitable options than this?"