Dead whale washes ashore near Bolinas

Getting herself tangled in a web of fishing line may be the culprit in the death of a young, female Minke whale that washed ashore in the Point Reyes National Seashore.

High tides prevented researchers from reaching the whale Thursday, which was found north of Bolinas near Alamere Falls. A spokesman for the Marine Mammal Center told the Marin IJ that the whale “wasn’t in the best of shape.”

A full-grown Minke whale is typically about 24 feet long and might weigh four to five tons. Whoppers can get up to 14 tons. Onlookers told the IJ this whale appeared to be a juvenile.

No word yet on how the whale will be disposed of. If the carcass can’t be dragged out to sea, or if researchers want to hold onto the bones for study, it can be buried for “later study” if the surrounding geography allows.

The subject of how not to dispose of a whale carcass is best addressed through what may be, in retrospect, one of the world’s first viral videos. From the Oregon coast in 1970: