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Our plan was to return this whale to the sea where it could rejoin the food chain and to film the first whale-fall experiment ever conducted in UK.  But I confess I’m using ‘we’ and ‘our’ in the David Attenborough sense, because just to get to this day had taken two years of work that I had done none of.   Dozens of permissions are required before you can help yourself to a dead whale, including one on behalf of the King: under the Royal Prerogative - ancient rights dating back to Edward II’s reign – as well as all the unmarked swans, the King owns all the sturgeons, whales and dolphins within three miles of shore.  As our humpback came under “fishes royal… too large to be drawn to land by a wain pulled by six oxen”, a signature was required from His Majesty’s Receiver of Wreck.  I suspect it was signed with a flourish because ordinarily, washed up cetaceans are sent to landfill at costs reaching £80,000.
Next, how to freeze an entire whale? Our answer came via a scientist who models how to freeze chickens for supermarkets and who, with a lot of liquid nitrogen and a shipping container, was as able to remodel our conundrum. 

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