CoCT (City of Cape Town) authorities were notified on Sunday afternoon that the whale shark had drifted ashore and was in shallow surf on Camps Bay beach.
CoCT Solid Waste Management, in an operation coordinated by CoCT Coastal Management, removed from the whale shark from beach for disposal.
Samples have been collected for scientific research.
See original media statements below:
Sunday, 14th April:
The whale shark carcass on Camps Bay beach washed into the surf at high tide during the night and CoCT solid waste removal were not able to reach the carcass in the wave sets during efforts to remove the carcass for disposal on Sunday morning.
The carcass appears to have lost buoyancy and there is the possibility that it may not wash ashore. If the carcass washes ashore it will be recovered for disposal but failing this it can be expected that natural decomposition will occur at sea.
As a precaution NSRI advise public caution on the Atlantic Seaboard in the vicinity of Camps Bay due to a possibility, although remote, of increased shark activity that may result from the decomposing carcass.
Marine Scientist Mike Meyer has confirmed to NSRI that studies indicate that unlike the natural phenomenon of increased shark activity that is normally drawn to a decomposing whale carcass this phenomenon appears to have the opposite affect in relation to a shark carcass where decomposition pheromones released from a shark carcass appears to repel shark activity to an area of a decomposing shark and with this animal being a whale shark it will most likely result in such a trend.
However NSRI are urging the public to take heed of this precautionary advisory in the awareness that a whale shark carcass remains in the surfline at Camps Bay beach currently decomposing naturally.
Public caution is advised.
See original media release below…CAMPS BAY:
Johnny Albert, NSRI Bakoven duty coxswain, said:
At 17h11, Saturday, 13th April, NSRI Bakoven and CoCT (City of Cape Town) Law Enforcement officers responded to Camps Bay beach where a whale shark beached.
The CoCT Marine Animal Stranding Network activated and the whale shark was found to be in poor health and later died naturally.
Arrangements will be made by solid waste removal for the carcass to be removed from the beach.
Marine Scientist Mike Meyer who was on the scene to assist said that these are normally tropical water animals and caught in cold West Coast currents with the recent strong seas and heavy swells may have contributed to the whale shark beaching and perishing.
NSRI commend the local publics contribution on the scene at this sad incident and their willingness to assist.