WHITE ROCK (NEWS1130) – A young humpback whale that became beached and died in White Rock has been towed away.

A Coast Guard hovercraft has towed the carcass over to Boundary Bay, where it’s being temporarily anchored underwater with lines visible on the surface. The Coast Guard anticipates the whale will then be moved again on Thursday by scientists using a tug and barge.

Scientists say they performed a cosmetic post-mortem to minimize damage to the bones. Staff at the Vancouver Aquarium say the humpback had fishing nets caught in its mouth and was emaciated.

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans tells us the Humpback is about eight to 10 metres long and is older than a calf.

Bud was out for his morning run when he spotted the whale.

“It had some major, quarter-inch nylon fish line all around its mouth,” he tells News1130. “[RCMP] officers were doing their best to remove it and managed to get it all undone. It looked like it had been cut up pretty good from the fishing line.”

“It took one last big gasp and then I was out there for another 20 to 30 minutes and didn’t see any movement whatsoever,” he adds.

The Vancouver Aquarium‘s Dr. Martin Haulena tells CityTV the whale was likely tangled in the fishing line for quite sometime.

“Judging by the state of this animal, it would have taken quite some time to lose this much weight. Also the scars – which are definitely scars – so they’re not very, very fresh wounds. I would say weeks,” he believes.

“We do have folks from the aquarium coming down to take some basic samples for us [such as] DNA, some samples of the wounds. A full necropsy is probably not going to be possible through today, maybe not in to tomorrow, but that is definitely a consideration,” he explains.

“It’s really up to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, the province, the BC Marine Mammals Stranding Network and the municipality as well,” adds Haulena.

The dead whale caused so much interest from the public, there was little parking in the area and traffic control had to be called in to maintain nearby roads.