WHALE BEACHED ON NIUE REEF

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ALOFI, Niue (October 26, 2001 – Niue Economic Review)---A full grown adult sperm whale has been washed ashore on the fringing reef at Niue's eastern village of Lakepa.

It is understood to have died at sea between one and two weeks ago and is lodged in a crevice on the reef. Its carcass has been attacked by sharks.

Niue fisheries officer Brendon Pasisi says the whale carcass is about 11 meters (36 feet) long and could weigh up to 30 tons.

He said an attempt will be made to tow the whale out to sea tomorrow using the government launch.

"When whales start to rot there is a real stench and being on the windward side it will be unsettling for those in the nearby village of Lakepa," said Mr. Pasisi.

Mr. Pasisi said humpback whales are common around Niue at this time of the year. Experts say sperm whales also pass by but are known to travel in deep waters.

Several years ago pieces of whale carcasses were washed up at Alofi and Hakupu.

For additional reports from the Niue Economic Review, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Magazines/Journals/Niue Economic Review.

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