THREE South Coast beaches were closed over the weekend as a precautionary measure Picture: Motshwari Mofokeng/African News Agency (ANA)
Durban - THREE South Coast beaches were closed over the weekend as a precautionary measure.

This was after an adult humpback whale stranded between the rocks at Shelly Beach last weekend.

Community members had harvested the carcass for meat, cooking oil, muti and bait, according to the KZN Marine Stranding Network.

KZN Sharks Board head of operations Greg Thompson said three beaches had been closed as a precautionary measure after whale meat was seen floating in the water, which could attract sharks.

“The sharks board did, however, advise the beach management that bathing should remain banned at St Mike’s and Uvongo due to the bits of whale that had broken up and drifted south.

“The Margate lifeguards allowed bathing restricted to a shallow depth in that area,” Thompson said.

“When we do our beach patrols and sea patrols, if we do not see pieces of whale floating around and not much activity, we will open the beaches,” he said.

Thompson said there was a strong possibility the beaches would reopen today.

According to the stranding network, the removal of the whale carcass was the responsibility of the Ray Nkonyeni Municipality (RNM).

Ward 2 councillor Dave Watson said the remains of the whale were cremated at the start of the weekend, but the tide had already taken some pieces out to sea, sending sharks into a feeding frenzy.

“We’re waiting for results on the whale, but it is believed to have suffered a traumatic head injury because it had blood coming out of its mouth,” he said.

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