Though photo opportunities may be tempting, the public has been urged to stay away from the carcass for health and safety reasons.
Fin whales are sometimes spotted offshore, says Dave Wall of the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG), who added that this whale was likely dead for some time before its carcass beached.
It’s not known what causes the fin whale’s death. But marine debris — especially microbeads from bathroom products – is a growing threat to all whales, dolphins and porpoise in Irish waters, as the IWDG recently reported.
Citing a new study that found marine debris (such as plastic bags and fish hooks) in the digestive tracts of 8.5% of cetaceans examined, the IWDG highlights that micro-plastics were present in the guts of every animal in the study.
“While larger marine debris has been shown to cause impaction of the gut and other complications which can lead to death, the impact of micro-plastic contamination is not known,” says the group.
“It is thought it can act as a vehicle for persistent pollutants, which adhere to the large surface area resulting in a potential increase in contaminant burdens in marine mammals.”
The IWDG has more on the study HERE.