Tests on stranded Portstewart Fin Whale ‘inconclusive’ - AFBI

Ivan Lynn contracts Armoy makes a vain attempt to remove the whale from the beech at Portstewart after it was stranded earlier this month.  PICTURE: KEVIN MCAULEY/MCAULEY MULTIMEDIA
Ivan Lynn contracts Armoy makes a vain attempt to remove the whale from the beech at Portstewart after it was stranded earlier this month. PICTURE: KEVIN MCAULEY/MCAULEY MULTIMEDIA

Test results on the carcase of a Fin Whale stranded at Portstewart earlier this month, have proved inconclusive the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI) has said.

The 13 metre female Fin whale was stranded on Portstewart Beach on Monday 4th October 2015. AFBI vets were called upon to try to establish a cause of death for the mammal.

They have now revealed that the size of this whale is consistent with a juvenile which is only just post-weaning. The carcass was in a very poor condition and it had been dead for some time before it came ashore. The skin was peeling and it had a thin blubber layer. The muscle mass along the back was low and the stomach was empty.

The body condition of the mammal was considered sub-optimal and natural causes are suspected, however the exact cause of death is inconclusive.