VIDEO: Sharks Feeding On Dead Whale Prompt WarningsAugust 23, 2012, 3:19 PM HST (Updated August 23, 2012, 4:01 PM)
The public is being warned to stay out of the water in the vicinity of the Hawaiian Beaches subdivision because of sharks feeding on the carcass of a dead whale.
The decomposing 50-foot sperm whale carcass first appeared Wednesday off the coast at the end of Kahakai Boulevard. The road leading from Pahoa to the coast provides access to several subdivisions including two along the water.
The area is not a frequent swimming area as the water is often rough and the rocky coast lined mostly with cliffs.
The agency is working with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to hire a private marine salvage company to remove the dead whale.
The Department of Land and Natural Resources is warning the public to stay out of the water within a mile of the carcass. The warning is in effect for three days after it is removed.
The carcass is considered a public nuisance because of its strong odor.
Since sperm whales are protected under several state and federal laws, including the Endangered Species Act, disturbing or taking any part of the animal is prohibited without prior authorization, a DLNR spokeswoman said.