This is historical material, "frozen in time." The web site is no longer updated and links to external web sites and some internal pages will not work.

DLNR News Release-People Urged to Stay Away From and Off of Whale Carcass, Jan. 16, 2019

Posted on Jan 16, 2019 in Latest Department News

(Honolulu) – The decomposing carcass of a sperm whale, at last report, has moved to a location about eight miles south of Pearl Harbor.  This despite it being towed 15-miles off shore after it landed last week on the reef adjacent to the Sand Island Recreation Area.

A photo, making the rounds yesterday, shows a great white shark swimming around the carcass.  Tiger sharks have been spotted, almost continuously, feeding on the whale.  DLNR Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement (DOCARE) Chief Jason Redulla said, “We’re asking people to stay out of the water around this carcass.  We don’t want anyone to get hurt if a shark swimming around the carcass mistakes them as food. Understandably, some people want to get into the water either out of fascination or to get photographs, but it is truly dangerous to be around this carcass with so much shark activity.”

There are reports that people are even climbing on top of the whale and removing its teeth. Taking of a marine mammal’s remains may be against both state and federal laws.

Experts tracking the movement of the carcass note that it is currently headed off-shore, but southwesterly winds predicted over the next few days, could once again push it closer to shore or even back onto land.

# # #

Media Contact:

Dan Dennison

Senior Communications Manager

Hawaii Dept. of Land & Natural Resources

Communications Office

[email protected]

[email protected]


(808) 587-0396 (Communications Office)

(808) 587-0407 (Direct Line)