Hopes that Holkham whale stranding does not mean more to come

Fin whale washed up on the beach on the Holkham estate. ANL-161021-094753001
Fin whale washed up on the beach on the Holkham estate. ANL-161021-094753001

Following the stranding of a whale on Holkham beach last week, experts have expressed hopes that this will not mark the beginning of a mass stranding similar to that which happened at the start of the year.

The 40ft fin whale was found dead on Holkham beach on Thursday afternoon and is believed to have died of starvation.

Hunstanton Sea Life Sanctuary’s senior aquarist Natalie Emmerson said: “It’s very sad when anything like this happens. Fingers crossed it won’t be a sign there’s going to be a mass stranding.

“It’s very unusual for a fin whale to be here in the first place. So hopefully it won’t mark the start of others, hopefully it was just one which ended up in the wrong sea.”

Miss Emmerson was part of the team which attempted to rescue a sperm whale which was stranded in Hunstanton in January.

It marked the beginning of a spate of whale strandings along the east coast of the county.

She said: “It wasn’t much fun at all, they beached alive at that time – it’s sad either way [if they are dead or alive], as there’s only so much we can do.

“It’s a very shallow stretch of sea here, and when the whales get stuck in in it, they can’t navigate it very well.

“It’s a big problem for whales – they are meant for deeper water.”