Fin whale Cornwall: 16-metre-long whale washes up on popular UK beach
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A popular beach in Cornwall was cordoned off after a massive whale washed up on the shore. The 16m (50ft) fin whale was spotted on South Fistral Beach in Newquay at first light on Wednesday morning (November 15).
Watersports teacher Rob Barber, from Newquay Activity Centre, saw the deceased whale while completing a routine ocean conditions check. Mr Barber, who has been a surfer and ocean user for the last 40 years, said the sighting was "sad" - and the team immediately alerted the relevant agencies.
A marine stranding agency told Mr Barber the whale was spotted swimming yesterday "looking out of sorts". He said: "Upon getting a bit nearer to the whale, it was measured to be 16 metres long - it's absolutely huge. It appeared to be bleeding from near the tail end, but we don't know why it died yet. It's so sad to see."
He said there has been a notable increase in sightings of these marine mammals around South Fistral beach over the past year and a half. He added: "Over the last 40 years of being an ocean user, it has never been common until the recent 18 months. There has been so many more sightings."
Local agencies are working out what the next step is for the whale - whether it will be left to be naturally taken back into the ocean, or removed.
Newquay Activity Centre, in an updated post on Facebook, has now advised the public to stay over 20ft away from the carcass as a safety measure. It explained: "There are organisms still living on the now deceased whale which it's important to keep distance from and the blood can be toxic. A decision will be made concerning if the tide will naturally move the body or other measures will be required. Very sad scenes."