Residents could see more whales wash up along the Cape’s shores. According to experts, signs point to a food shortage that is impacting on both whales and seals.
On Saturday [October 10], a 14-metre Humpback whale washed ashore on the beach along Baden Powell Road near Strandfontein on the False Bay coast. According to the City of Cape Town, the whale appeared to have been dead for a few days. The cause of death is not known. It has since been removed from the shore and taken to the Vissershok landfill site as per the City’s whale removal policy.
“The female whale was around 14m long, with no entanglements and no shark bites. It was probably dead for two days before it washed ashore. The whale was skinny and late in the breeding season,” Sea Search Research and Conservation director Simon Elwen told IOL.
He added that he suspected more whales could wash ashore. The country has noted low numbers of right whales this year, and reports show that seals as far as Namibia are starving, which may indicate a food shortage.
“At this time of the year, humpback whales are migrating south from their breeding grounds off West Africa, and haven’t eaten properly in months,” Elwen added.