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Whales stranded in Golden Bay

Whales stranded in Golden Bay

Around 13 pilot whales have this morning stranded near the base of Farewell Spit and the Department of Conservation is trying to prevent another 50 or so in the pod stranding.

DOC has been monitoring the whales since being alerted to the pod of about 60 whales close to shore off Taupata Point, south of Farewell Spit, shortly before 8am this morning. The first whales stranded on Farewell Spit around 11am.

DOC is using a boat to try to shepherd the whales still afloat out to sea to avoid their also stranding.

DOC has called for assistance from Project Jonah volunteers to help with the stranded whales and says currently no other volunteers are needed to assist.

DOC Takaka ranger Greg Napp said the Project Jonah volunteers will assist DOC staff to care for the stranded whales and do what they can to protect them from the sun and would also help DOC staff attempt to refloat the whales before dark tonight.

“We plan to attempt to refloat the stranded whales in the incoming tide tonight. We are hoping we can get them afloat and further out to sea before dark when it would become unsafe for people to work in the sea trying to refloat the whales.”

This latest stranding follows 39 pilot whales stranding near the base of Farewell Spit just over a week ago on Monday 6 January. Twelve whales had died and the remaining 27 were euthanised to relieve their suffering after it became clear an attempt to refloat the whales and get them safely back out to sea would be unlikely to succeed.


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