The humpback whale which died after becoming stranded on a sandbank near the Wadden Sea island of Texel was a female, marine experts said on Tuesday.
The whale had been nicknamed Johannes in the media after efforts to save the 12-metre mammal continued for several days.
The whale’s body was take to the island on Tuesday but so far no cause of death has been established.
Meanwhile, economic affairs minister Henk Kamp says a formal protocol should be drawn up to deal with future beachings. Some activists were highly critical of the failure to move the whale to deeper waters.
‘We have to ensure survival chances are as great as possible,’ Kamp said. The minister defended the work of the various groups involved in trying to save the whale.
Nevertheless, the rescue attempts had not gone perfectly, hence the need for a formal protocol, he said.