View from the Point Elizabeth, Greymouth
Image: Baptiste Maryns | ©

Archived content: This media release was accurate on the date of publication. 


We are appealing for information after a 5-metre Gray's beaked whale that washed up dead on a Greymouth beach had its beak illegally chain sawed off.

Date:  05 September 2017

DOC is also warning the public about the risks of touching whale carcasses.

It is believed that the beak was removed and taken away sometime around the afternoon of 2 September 2017.

It is an offence under the Marine Mammals Protection Act 1978 to take whalebone or any other part of a marine mammal without a permit. If people see a whale on a beach, they should contact the Department, which is responsible for marine mammals including disposal of beached dead whales, when required.

Ranger Glen Newton says that dead rotting whales can carry diseases that contaminate skin and clothing. "It is important not to touch dead whales and it is recommended to stay at least 5 metres away, and avoid walking in any sand and water that might be contaminated."

Anyone who has information about the removal of the whale's beak, including who might be responsible, is asked to call the DOC emergency number 0800 362 468 (0800 DOC HOT).


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