Washington State landowners are asked to take dead whales
With Washington having no more room to store greywark cadavers washed ashore, a federal agency is asking landowners to lend their properties as the final resting place for marine mammals as they decompose.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries calls on volunteers to use their land as a landfill for carcasses, which can be up to 40 feet long. In this way, they would support the natural process of the marine environment, officials said.
The skeletons left behind could be used for educational purposes, they added.
RARE FOREST OLPHINS WASHING MYSTERIOUS ASHORE  In this May 6 photo, Duat Mai stands on a dead whale on Ocean Beach in San Francisco. (AP Photo / Jeff Chiu, File) "/>
In this photo from May 6, Duat Mai is standing on a dead whale at Ocean Beach in San Francisco. (AP Photo / Jeff Chiu, File)
"A graveyard for one," said Mario Rivera, a landowner in Port Hadlock, just 80 kilometers northwest of Seattle, opposite KING-TV. "The smell is not bad, it is very sporadic."
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About 30 whales have stranded on the Washington coast this year The population of gray whales is estimated to be 27,000.
About 70 whales were found dead on the US West Coast alone, and because of its unusually high numbers, NOAA declared it an "unusual mortality event."
With the unusual mortality event of these gray whales, we know that more whales will come in, or there is a high likelihood that more whales will come in to die in Puget Sound and on the coast, "said Betsy Carlson, citizen research co-ordinator at Port's Marine Science Center Townsend.
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Lime is used for mining A Walkadave On the beach where Rivera lives.
"The lime seems to work," he said. "It's decaying well, I think it's not that bad, so we hope other landowners will do that," Rivera said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.