THE BOTTOM – Residents on Saba were astonished to discover a 12-meter adult dead humpback whale floating about 5 miles north-west off Saba this past Sunday.
After receiving numerous calls from residents, Kai Wulf marine park manager for the Saba Conservation Foundation called the Dutch Coast Guard and a helicopter was deployed from St. Maarten to investigate. He said from a distance the dead whale looked like a capsized vessel leaking oil.
Wulf and his team later went out to take photos and video to try to find out what could have triggered the death of this whale. Wulf said unfortunately much of the whale has been decomposed and already on Sunday about 50 sharks were spotted feasting on the carcass. He would like to determine if the whale was killed by a moving vessel or if there was another cause.
Wulf thinks the dead whale was possibly floating in the area for over 3 weeks and probably originates from the North Atlantic. This morning the team from the Saba Marine Park went out to take further images and tissue samples, which will be sent to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and Wageningen Marine Research in the Netherlands for analysis.