Whale carcass dug up from Australian beach over shark fears

This handout photo shows a digger being used in the removal of a massive humpback whale buried on Nobbys Beach at Port Macquarie some 400 kilometers (240 miles) north of Sydney on 25 September, 2017. (Port Macquarie-Hastings Council via AFP)
Updated 25 September 2017
0

Whale carcass dug up from Australian beach over shark fears

SYDNEY: A massive humpback whale buried on a popular Australian beach after it washed up dead was being exhumed Monday because locals feared its rotting carcass was attracting sharks.
The 18-ton animal came ashore entangled in fishing ropes last week at Nobbys Beach in holiday hotspot Port Macquarie on the New South Wales coast, 400 kilometers (240 miles) north of Sydney.
Authorities tried to drag the 12-meter (40-foot) whale back to sea, but gave up when it became caught on rocks.
With only a pedestrian pathway leading to the beach and no road access, the local council winched down a small digger to bury the dead creature.
But concerns that oil and decaying blubber were seeping into the ocean soon sparked a community backlash, with a spate of shark sightings close to shore ahead of school holidays, when beaches in the area are usually packed.
Under mounting pressure, the state government stepped in with enough cash to fund the removal of the decomposing animal.
A large crane was set up on the cliff edge Monday and mechanical excavators lowered to the sand, where they set about digging up the carcass and ripping it apart to be taken to a landfill site.
“We are using an excavator with big teeth on its bucket to actually cut the whale in pieces. It’s quite a job,” Port Macquarie council’s environment director Matt Rogers told reporters.
“There are overseas experiences where whales have been taken off beaches... but nothing like we’re seeing here with skip bins being winched up an escarpment, a crane reaching out 60 meters.”
Surf school owner Wayne Hudson said locals were delighted the council had acted.
“The community got behind the idea of pulling out the whale carcass for a varied number of reasons and we went to council and respectfully asked for it to be removed,” he told broadcaster ABC.
“Council listened and jumped on... everyone I’ve been speaking to in the community’s just so stoked about it.”
Each year humpback whales migrate north from the Antarctic to the warmer climate off Australia’s north coast to mate and give birth.


80 nations attend terror financing conference in Paris

Updated 24 min 33 sec ago
0

80 nations attend terror financing conference in Paris

  • Terror attacks have become increasingly low-cost since the 9/11 atrocities in the United States in 2001
  • While the Daesh group faces imminent defeat on the battlefield in Syria where the last pockets of its fighters are holding out, experts warn that its ideology will live on

PARIS: Ministers from 80 countries and nearly 500 experts gather in Paris from Wednesday for a conference on combating the financing of terror groups such as Daesh and Al-Qaeda, French officials said.
Attacks have become increasingly low-cost since the 9/11 atrocities in the United States in 2001, particularly in recent years when followers of Daesh have used vehicles and guns as their main weapon of choice.
But French authorities remain concerned about a huge war-chest amassed by Daesh between 2014 and 2016 when it ruled over large swathes of oil-rich territory in Iraq and Syria.
A French presidential official briefing journalists on Tuesday said that Daesh income was estimated at about $1 billion (820 million euros) a year.
“It has been moved since, at least in part. It’s probably somewhere,” the official said on condition of anonymity. “These groups are very skilful in using sophisticated techniques to move financial resources around.”
The idea of the two-day conference, which will close with a speech by French President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday afternoon, is to share expertise and good practice that can be implemented internationally.
The Daesh group faces imminent defeat on the battlefield in Syria where the last pockets of its fighters are holding out, but experts warn that its ideology will live on.
Some terror experts, including Peter Neumann from King’s College in London, have argued recently that the fight against the financing of terror groups has been ineffective since 2001.
In a report last year entitled “Don’t follow the money,” he argued that low-cost terror attacks were easy to mount and jihadist groups could transfer money easily without using the international banking system.
He will make a speech at the start of the second day of the conference on Thursday which will take place at the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development in Paris.