Icelandic coastguard ship Þór will arrive next week in Árneshreppur on the northern coast of the Westfjords, RÚV reports, to clear more than fifty pilot whales from the beach. The Þór would get rid of them far enough in the sea that the tide would not bring them back to shore.
Whales stranded in Árneshreppur last weekend and died on the beach. Since then, local authorities have debated ways of getting rid of the decaying corpse. The president of the city council, Eva Sigurbjörnsdóttir, told a RÚV journalist that a Coast Guard ship was due to arrive next Tuesday and that residents breathed a sigh of relief that a solution had been found.
Locals were surprised to see whales swinging by the shore. Scientists at the Icelandic Institute of Marine Research took samples of animal bodies. It is not known what caused the herd to swim to land. The institute’s employees hope to gather information on the whales’ physical condition at the time of their death, their age, and how closely related individuals were in the herd.