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Newfoundlanders weigh how to dispose of rotting whale carcasses

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans says it will likely be up to the local and provincial governments to find a way to dispose of rotting blue whale carcasses on the shorelines near two Newfoundland communities.

There are now three of the mammoth marine mammals beached in the vicinity of Rocky Harbour and Trout River.

The whale in Trout River is nearly 26 metres long and could weigh as much as 80 tonnes, while the other two are similar in size.

Fisheries Department research scientist Jack Lawson says the onus usually falls to the municipality and then the province, which must obtain a special permit from the department.

Lawson warns people should stay away from the decomposing whales because of the fluids and other hazards that would be inside.

He says it's likely the whales will have to be broken into pieces in order to be removed from the beaches.

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