VILLAGERS of Navutulevu in Serua are pleading with relevant authorities to assist them in destroying the remains of a decapitated humpback whale that was washed into the harbour on Monday last week.
The whale, which measured about 15 metres, was already dead when it was found floating in open sea before strong waves brought it into the Navutulevu harbour.
"When the waves brought it into the harbour, its body separated into two pieces from its waist," said Opeti Nakabiti, the first villager to see the whale.
"I was diving for fish and I decided to go home. That was when I smelt this foul smell and I saw the decapitated whale behind me."
He said he immediately informed the villagers.
"The waves swept the bottom half of the whale right next to the village and the top half is still out on the harbour."
Mr Nakabiti said the decapitated body emitted a strong stench.
"It's affecting our everyday life. The village headman has called off all fishing in the area because of fears of sharks in the water. We can't even swim because of the oil from the whale's body."
Village headman Esika Tubainavatu said they had burnt the remains of the whale that was next to the village on Saturday but the stench was still too strong.