Introduction

DOC and Tauranga Moana iwi are working together to dispose of a dead 14 m whale which was carried into Tauranga Harbour on the front of a container vessel.

Date:  05 October 2017

DOC staff are today working with Tauranga Moana iwi to make arrangements to dispose of a 14 m whale which was carried into Tauranga Harbour on the front of a container vessel.

The whale, believed to be a Bryde’s whale, was dead when the ship berthed yesterday.

The container vessel came from Brisbane and it is not known where it encountered the whale.

DOC Tauranga Rotorua District Operations Manager Jeff Milham said it appears to have just been an unfortunate incident at sea.

DOC staff removed the carcass from the ship late yesterday afternoon and secured it in a safe location in Tauranga Harbour overnight.

“We are now working with Tauranga Moana iwi to arrange for an appropriate location for the carcass to be disposed of,” Mr Milham said.

Subject to having an appropriate site, the whale carcass was likely to be moved on full tide today.

About Bryde's whales

There are no agreed population estimates for Bryde’s whales in any ocean basin, but possibly in the tens of thousands worldwide.

They are considered locally common in New Zealand waters, where they feed on schooling fish and krill.

They reach 12-15 m in length and a weight of 13-22 tons with females being larger than males.

Bryde's whales on Project Jonah website.

Contact

For media enquiries contact:

Steve Brightwell, DOC Communications Advisor
Mobile: +64 27 306 2366
Email: sbrightwell@doc.govt.nz

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