Sperm whale stranding
Image: Caillan Bryers | ©

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


Despite best efforts, three male sperm whales, ranging in length from 14 m to 17 m have died after being reported to DOC earlier this week.

Date:  10 March 2021

The cause of death of the three whales is unknown at this stage and samples have been taken for genetics, toxicology, and stable isotope analysis.

“We are working in collaboration with Waikaretu Marae and Te Uri o Hau environs. Our main focus now is ensuring the safety of the public and the burial of the whales,” says DOC’s Kauri Coast Acting Operations Manager Stephanie Hayes

“Until the burial process is complete, we ask that public stay away from the site.”

Spokesperson for Te Uri o Hau Waikaretu Marae, kaitiaki Colin French, “We are starting a flensing process working with our whānaunga Ngāti Wai and Te Roroa.” 

DOC responds to an average 85 marine mammal stranding incidents a year, mostly of single animals.


For media enquiries contact:

Email: media@doc.govt.nz

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