SYDNEY, July 5 (Xinhua) -- A shark warning has been issued in the south of Western Australia on Tuesday after a 12-meter humpback whale weighing up to 40 tonnes washed up on a popular beach.
Western Australian authorities believed the whale died a few days ago and washed ashore at a popular beach in the Margaret River region.
Rather than towing the almost 40-tonne carcass out to sea to provide food for bottom dwelling animals via a process known as "whale fall," Western Australian authorities will instead remove it to a local land-fill due to the significant threat of sharks.
"Because it is a popular surf location, the decomposing whale could attract sharks to the area, therefore we have decided to remove the animal in the interests of public safety," WA Parks and Wildlife Ngari Capes Marine Park co-ordinator Matthew Dasey told local media on Tuesday.
Whale falls provide important nutrients for a variety of animals in the benthic food chain, from apex predator sharks through to bottom dwelling invertebrates.
However sharks have been spotted along Perth's northern beaches -- 215 kilometers south of Perth -- in the past week, raising fears of further attacks.
In June, a university professor was mauled while diving one kilometer offshore from Perth while a surfer was fatally attacked just to the south in Mandurah.
Researchers are making progress on shark deterrent methods after University of Western Australia study found an electrical deterrent device called SharkShield showed it was effective at a radius of 1.3 meters from its electrodes.