Now Australia's worst mass stranding of whales needs to be cleaned up

Picture: Tasmania Police
Picture: Tasmania Police

Rescuers on Tasmania's West Coast have turned their attention to disposing more than 300 whale carcasses.

A total of 88 whales have so far been rescued from Macquarie Harbour, says Parks and Wildlife Service wildlife biologist Dr Kris Carlyon, and a further 20 are likely to be rescued and returned to deeper water.

But now - on day five of a rescue effort in harsh weather conditions and cold water - the volunteers, staff and scientists will begin to contain and dispose of the dead.

The method is yet to be determined, but the favoured, more "natural" method is taking the bodies out into deeper ocean, slashing the skin to help them sink faster and releasing them.

They are also working to contain the dead whales in single locations with pens or weighted buoys so they were not spread around the harbour by the tides and currents.

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