As reported on busseltonmail.com.au:
A rotting whale carcass at Smiths Beach has led champion surfer Jake Paterson to label the beach as “marked” for sharks.
The beach has been effectively closed since the seven-metre whale was buried late last month – and the carcass is threatening to prevent both surfers and the surf lifesaving club from enjoying the popular area. A Department of Environment and Conservation sign at the main access point says “it is recommended that you do not swim or surf in this area” and admits the whale carcass “may still have the potential to attract sharks”.
DEC Blackwood district manager Greg Mair said they did not believe the burial would affect people’s ability to use the area. “The signs are there as a precaution, given the potential for attracting sharks,” he said. “We don’t believe it is a health risk and our observation is that people will still use the water.
“Many people will choose to disregard the sign, when there’s a shark attack you still see surfers in the water later that day, so people will make their own assessment.”
Paterson has joined the chorus of locals outraged at the decision to bury the whale, rather than remove it from the site. “It sat there for two weeks before they did anything about it,” Jake Paterson said. “It’s all about prevention, the best option would have been to take it away. “If it costs more to remove it, big deal. What’s the cost of removing it compared to us losing the whole economy? It will only take one more shark attack and the whole community will feel the effect. The beach is marked now.”
Read more at busseltonmail.com.au