TWO Eurobodalla beaches were closed for 24 hours over the weekend after a humpback whale washed up on South Broulee Beach.
The dead whale was first spotted 300 metres out to sea off North Head Beach, forcing lifeguards to close the beach for swimmers’ safety.
Around noon on Saturday the whale was found washed ashore on South Broulee Beach, which was then also closed.
Police taped off a 100-metre exclusion zone around it to keep onlookers away.
The whale looked as though it might have been dead for some time and had large chunks missing from its body.
ORRCA and council gave conflicting information on whether it was the same whale which was attacked by sharks at Broulee Beach on January 7.
A council spokeswoman said it was not the same whale that was towed out to sea by a fisherman earlier in the month.
However, NSW ORRCA vice-president Shona Lorigan said it was.
“The carcass was very, very old and decomposed,” she said.
“It was the juvenile whale that was attacked by sharks a couple of weeks ago.”
Ms Lorigan said the humpback whale was “seriously underweight” and infested with sea-lice.
“Lice is normal on whales but when they have a high lice load it means their health is not good,” she said.
“ORRCA members collected data from the whale.”
The council spokeswoman said council staff buried the whale on Saturday afternoon.
“Council staff buried the carcass in the dunes well away from Broulee surf club,” she said.
“The hole was dug with an excavator and the carcass was secured with chains and pulled up from the beach.”
Both beaches were reopened on Sunday.
It was the third dead whale to be found on local beaches this summer.
Ms Lorigan said ORRCA volunteers had been busy in NSW during the season and had particularly noticed a spike in Risso’s dolphin deaths.
“We have noticed a lot more Risso’s dolphins stranded, caught or found dead this summer,” she said.
“If you see injured, sick or dead sea-life, report it to the ORRCA hotline on 9415 3333.”