Title

Whale carcass leachate plumes in beach groundwater: A potential shark attractant to the surf?

Document Type

Article

Publication details

Tucker, JP, Santos, IR, Davis, KL & Butcher, PA 2019, 'Whale carcass leachate plumes in beach groundwater: A potential shark attractant to the surf?', Marine Pollution Bulletin, vol. 140, pp. 219-226.

Published version available from:

https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.marpolbul.2019.01.043

Peer Reviewed

Peer-Reviewed

Abstract

With the recovery of whale populations, carcass strandings on beaches are growing. Beach burial is a common management option for stranded carcasses. However, communities fear shark attraction following leachate transport to the ocean via submarine groundwater discharge. Here, a sediment column mesocosm experiment indicated that carcasses can be a localised source of dissolved organic carbon (DOC), phosphate and ammonium to groundwater. The spatial reach of the leachate plume was25 m onshore. Therefore, carcass leachate plumes would only potentially attract sharks to the surf under specific conditions not experienced during our experiments.

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