By Kebba Ansu Manneh
Lamin Gassama, Director of Parks and Wildlife has disclosed that his department in collaboration with other stakeholders is yet to ascertain the circumstances of a dead Whale found at the Barra beach over the weekend.
He suspected foreign fishing trawlers and the mammal that resulted in its death and washing on shore the beaches of the North Bank settlement.
In an exclusive interview, he said a technical working group comprising officials of Parks and Wildlife, National Environment Agency (NEA), National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA), and Gambia Police Force has been set up and dispatched to Barra with the view to disposing of the remains of the mammal.
He further revealed that other key stakeholders including the Gambia Fire and Rescue Services as well as the members of the community of Barra will also participate in the disposal.
“Right now we are working with other stakeholders to bury the remains of the Whale on the spot as we cannot lift it away. It is about 15.10 meters in length, 7.9 meters in width, and about twenty-two (22) tonnes in weight,” Lamin Gassama, Director of Parks and Wildlife disclosed to this medium.
He added: “The dead mammal was washed on shore at the Nuimi National Park and together with all stakeholders we are working to dispose of its remains. We suspected that it has been hit by this massive trawler that resulted in its death.”
The Parks and Wildlife Director General further revealed that the Whale has already started decaying and stakeholders will not waste any more time burying the mammal with the view to averting any negative impact on the community and its environment while assuring the general public, especially people living around the Nuimi National Park that everything will be done to dispose of the death Mammal latest Monday evening.
He explained that this is necessary to ensure the safety of people living around the Nuimi National Park as both the smell and odor generated from the dead whale can be dangerous to both human and animal health, confirming that a team has already been dispatched to dispose of and bury the mammal while further investigations concerning it’s the cause of death will continue.
Abubacarr Kujabi, Program Officer for Marine and Eco-system at the National Environmental Agency, confirmed the presence of a technical working group at the site of the dead whale, noting that the technician realized that the Whale sustained injuries on parts of its body that may have resulted to its dead.
According to him, stakeholders present at the site have called for an excavator from the National Disaster Management Agency with the view to digging the ground to bury the corpse of the dead mammal, noting that this will be necessary to avoid any negative environmental hazard that may ignite from the rotten mammal. He said burying the corpse will also avail officials to collect samples from the site once the corpse fully decomposes, noting that the samples could be useful to both academia and researchers who may want to conduct further research on the death of a mammal weighing more than twenty tons.