The Fisheries Division within the Ministry of Agriculture is working with the Public Health Department to properly dispose of a five foot seven inch whale that washed ashore in Georgetown about 8.00:a.m on Sunday January 9.
Chief Fisheries Officer (CFO), Jennifer Cruickshank-Howard told SEARCHLIGHT on Monday that her department is also working along with the Public Health Department to dispatch information explaining to persons why they should not consume meat from the whale.
According to Georgetown resident, agronomist Raffique Bailey, who is also an entomologist, the whale washed up in the mouth of the Georgetown River and soon after people began to cut pieces from the mammal for consumption.
The police had to stop them, Bailey said as he explained that people should refrain from using the whale meat as the cause and time of death is unknown.
Bailey, who is the head of the research and development division in the ministry of agriculture said he measured and examined the whale and is of the opinion that a wound to the head seems to suggest that it was injured by a harpoon, while its size speaks to it being a calf.
“I don’t eat whale meat and I think we should ban the killing as the whales have a strong emotional bond, and if they are swimming together and are attacked and one [is]killed the other one suffers greatly,” Bailey said.
He said his studies show that whales which survive attacks wander about looking for the one that did not survive.
“They suffer and they are pretty much domesticated in water parks to do tricks, so a lot of study has been done on them,” Bailey added.
He also shared that about 40 to 50 years ago a massive whale washed up in the same area, which tells a lot about the sea currents.
Bailey is also calling on the authorities to dispose of the whale as soon as possible as the stench is already unbearable.
The International Whaling Commission (IWC) allows St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) to harvest four whales a year as the country has successfully made a case of whaling being an indigenous activity.
In April 2019, international recording artiste Canadian born singer-songwriter, artist, and musician Bryan Adams used his body as a shield to prevent a whale from being killed off Mustique, to draw attention to the practice that many consider barbaric.