A sperm whale washed up dead on Wednesday on the shores of Karangasem in Bali. “Theoretically, our first assumption is sickness. And this needs to be scientifically proven. That’s why we’re currently performing necropsy with our veterinarian team,” local marine and fisheries officer Permana Yudiarso said.
“In total, we’ve had 18 beached whales just this week. From our data in 2022, we did have beached mammals such as whales, but only ten or more in our region of operation,” Yudiarso said, adding that “these numbers show that there is something wrong with our ocean.”
Locals performed a burial ceremony for the 18-meter-long sperm whale. “I feel sorry (for the whale) because whales are protected animals. If this keeps on happening, they may go extinct,” Ni Made Liarsi, who lives in Bali, said.
“We really need to take action and protect the ocean and do something because it feels like, more and more, the stranded animals are being washed onto the beaches,” German tourist Manuel said.
Sperm whales, known for being the largest toothed whales on Earth, can dive to depths of up to 3,000 meters in search of their primary prey, giant squid.
They possess the largest brains of any known animal and are known for their complex social structure and advanced communication methods, which include clicking sounds.
Beaching events like this one can be a natural occurrence for marine animals. However, they are often linked to various factors such as disease, injury, or disorientation caused by human activity, including noise pollution from ships or sonar.
Indonesia’s increasing number of beached whales has raised concerns among local conservationists and authorities.