fin whalw
Work got under way on Friday to remove an 18-meter (59-foot) fin whale that washed up dead on a beach near the northern Spanish town of Caravia.

Because of the whale's size, the task requires sectioning the carcass into portions.

Area residents gathered to watch the team remove the tail and loading it onto a truck for transport to facilities run by Proygrasa, a company specializing in the collection and disposal of carcasses.

Cepesma, an association dedicated to protecting marine species, said that the fin whale is a common species in the Cantabrian Sea, which constitutes the southernmost portion of the Bay of Biscay.

The dead whale was seriously underweight, indicating that it succumbed to an illness, according to Cepesma.

The stranded animal was the largest fin whale found on the coast of the Asturias region since 2005, when a specimen 22 meters long washed up Tapia de Casariego.