What a find!
A RARE discovery was made on an Inverloch beach recently.
Peter Rhodes found ambergris, a substance made by sperm whales and a valued ingredient in expensive perfumes.
Rodney Webster of the South Gippsland Conservation Society said ambergris typically sells for up to $30 per gram but Australian law does not allow such wildlife products to be sold.
“It is highly valued as a component of expensive perfumes, contributing to the final scent as well as acting as a fixative,” Mr Webster said.
“Depending on its age and history, its smell may vary but the odour is always strong and not necessarily pleasant.”
Mr Rhodes grew up in Inverloch and worked with local cray fishermen, and so knows the coast well.
With a marine background, he was confident his find was ambergris but brought the object into the Bunurong Environment Centre at Inverloch to confirm his suspicion.
“We were pleased to be able to confirm that this material had in fact come from the stomach of a sperm whale, that it had probably floated in the ocean for years and that if found elsewhere in the world might be sold for a substantive sum,” Mr Webster said.
His cousin found ambergris at Venus Bay five years ago and said ambergris looks “like a piece of gray sandstone”.
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