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HomeNewsWhale Washes Ashore Near Rochester

Whale Washes Ashore Near Rochester

A juvenile female fin whale was seen washed ashore in Cliffe, near Rochester over the Christmas period. It was first discovered by a dog walker and his son off the River Thames in a remote part of Cliffe, on the Hoo Peninsula,

The public were advised to keep their distance ahead of attempts to recover the dead whale from a Kent shore. It was seen on 28th December 2023 as it washed ashore after entering the Thames estuary.

The Port of London Authority (PLA) confirmed it was a juvenile female fin whale. A spokesperson for PLA said people are being asked to “keep their distance” and not “interfere with the carcass” as they worked to remove the whale, as the carcass may carry “harmful bacteria” from decomposition.

PLA explained that recovery efforts had been “hampered by Storm Gerrit” as well as the mudflats along the rocky foreshore and limited road access to the site.

A spokesperson for PLA says their marine services team were responsible for removing the body.

Red straps were placed over the whale by PLA as part of the recovery process. The whale has now been removed.

At first, the animal was reported to be an adult minke whale, but the UK Cetacean Strandings Investigation Programme said a two tone baleen on the right side of the head was a characteristic of a juvenile fin whale. The cause of death is currently unknown.

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