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Cape Cod Blackfish Invasions

Blackfish up to twenty feet long frequently ground themselves on Cape Cod beaches. There are many theories as to why they beach themselves in this manner.

In the old days, these strandings were considered a windfall. Decomposing along the beaches, blackfish pose a problem to the local towns they land in, for it is their job to see that these carcasses are buried.

Long ago, beachcombers discovered that the section on top of the head called the “melon” was worth a price on the market, for it contains oil. Many cut the melons out and sold them. During this period, Wellfleet made a law that anyone who took a melon from a decaying blackfish would have to get rid of the fish themselves.

I remember a few years back when a large humpback whale beached itself on the southern shore of Cape Cod Bay at Dennis. A local contractor was hired to dispose of the carcass. What a sight it was when the truck left the scene with the poor whale’s tail hanging out the back of the trailer. I’m sure many folks did a double take as the truck travelled to the disposal site.

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Posted by Cape Cod - (website) on 08/21/06
Categories: Nature
Keywords: critters, nature


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