The young whale washed up between Paradise Cove and Point Dume. A necropsy done by marine experts Tuesday suggests the 41-foot male fin whale died after being hit by a ship. It had a gash to the back and vertebrae damage.
City, county and state officials are trying to figure out who will remove the 20-ton carcass. Dead whales are usually towed out to sea about 10 miles, where sharks and other creatures eat the flesh.
Los Angeles County lifeguards planned to try at high tide, but it may be too much of a job for their capabilities.
"You would need a tug boat to drag it out to sea," said L.A. County fire inspector Brian Riley.
The Los Angeles County Department of Beaches and Harbors spokesman said it was not responsible for disposing of the body because it was on a private beach, and that the state was responsible for the tidelands.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.