WHITE ROCK (NEWS1130) – Work is underway to identify a beached humpback whale that died on White Rock Beach yesterday. Its carcass has since been removed from the shoreline.

White Rock Mayor Wayne Baldwin is blaming the mammal’s death on careless fishermen.

“[Dropping] materials in the ocean, not cleaning up after themselves… You know, the fishermen not being less than careful with their lines and so on,” says Baldwin.

He adds he’s proud with how his community responded, with people running to the beach with buckets to try and keep the whale alive.

“There was a constant stream of kids coming and going with their parents and even with school groups. I hope they just learn from it, how bad this is, the way we treat our oceans,” he explains.

Baldwin was also touched by how the way the Semiahmoo First Nation was involved right from the beginning, performing a traditional ceremony for the dead whale. “It really added a lot of depth to the situation too. It made it a very complete experience.”

There’s also word the whale’s bones may show up in a museum or university one day.