Police are advising the public that interfering with the carcasses of the sperm whales, which washed up on the Lincolnshire Coast, may constitute a criminal offence.
Sperm whales are a species protected under The Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010.
The regulations state that being in possession of any part of the animal, alive or dead, or selling or exchanging any such part, is an offence punishable by six months in prison and/or an unlimited fine.
Force lead for rural crime, Chief Inspector Jim Tyner. said: “It is not surprising that the sad deaths of these animals has generated considerable fascination and large numbers of people have been coming to Skegness to look at them.
“However, people need to be aware that touching the creatures is a risk to health and taking ‘trophies’ is against the law. Anyone removing teeth or other parts of the whales may be committing a serious offence, the penalty for which can be quite significant”.
We are aware that photographs have been circulating on social media of a person apparently removing teeth from the whale. These photographs will form part of our ongoing enquiry into the matter but we would ask anyone with further information to contact us on 101.