Whale washed ashore on Pakiri Beach

Image: Shelley Ogle | DOC

Introduction

A Brydes whale was found washed up on Pakiri beach and reported to Department of Conservation (DOC) on 18 September 2020. Samples have been taken for analysis to confirm the cause of death.

Date:  01 October 2020

DOC worked closely with Ngāti Manuhiri and a burial was conducted with iwi kaumātua the same day. Iwi kaumatua Ringi Brown was onsite for karakia and the burial then gifting the name Te Tai which is derived from the phrase Ki uta, ki tai – from the land to the ocean.

DOC Biodiversity Supervisor in Warkworth, Molly Hicks, confirmed it was 7 metre-calf Brydes whale. DOC’s shark expert, Clinton Duffy says “The carcass is covered by a lot of healed and healing cookie-cutter shark (Isistius brasiliensis) bites indicating the calf had been at subtropical latitudes at some stage.”

In Aotearoa they are most seen between the North and East capes and are found year-round in the Hauraki Gulf. These whales have been observed in the Pacific (North and South), Atlantic and Indian Oceans.

With warmer weather approaching, if you are planning to head out into the water and see marine mammals, please observe the following guidelines:

  • It is illegal to approach closer than 50 metres from a whale. This increases to 300 metres if there are already three boats close.
  • Any whales or dolphins accidentally struck, any dead carcass or any dolphin and whale stranding should be reported immediately to the Coastguard and Department of Conservation.

Contact

For media enquiries contact:

Phone: +64 4 496 1911
Email: media@doc.govt.nz

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